________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 16 . . . . April 14, 2000

cover Daughter.

Ishbel Moore.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 1999.
216 pp., pbk. & cloth, $6.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55074-537-9 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55074-535-2 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Mothers and daughters-Juvenile fiction.
Alzheimer's disease-Juvenile fiction.
Teenagers-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 6-11 / Ages 11-16.
Review by Betsy Fraser.

*** /4


Mom's tears are dripping from her chin. "Consider living with your father, Sylvie. It's him or Grandmother Marchione, but she's not as well as she used to be - and she's in Toronto."

My heart splits down the middle.

"And, I want to say . . ." She pauses and bites her lip. "I ... I want to say ... happy fifteenth birthday, Sylvie, and congratulations on your graduation from ... from ..."

Sylvie arrives home from school one day to find her mother standing poised on their 10th-floor balcony railing, although she doesn't remember the incident moments later. Some days her mother seems fine, but, on others, she can't remember Sylvie's name. Her mother's rapid degeneration into Alzheimer's disease leaves 14-year-old Sylvie frightened, confused and, finally, unable to deny her need for extra help. Sylvie neglects her friends and is not happy about needing help from the father who had separated from her mother. It is only when she receives advice and help from a boy whose grandmother also has the disease that she is slowly able to start to come to terms with her mother's condition and what it will mean to her own life.

Alzheimer's disease is one of the most horrifying things for a loved one to witness. In cases like this, where the afflicted person is young and vital, it is a cruel blow indeed. Not many teenagers know what actually happens with this disease, and a book like this is a very good introduction. Sylvie goes through denial, anger and acceptance. Too much time is spent in dealing with the problem family of Sylvie's best friend, Marissa, but overall the book shows different kinds of problems that need intervention and outside help. There are no easy endings with Alzheimer's and Moore does not tie up the ending of this book neatly. The characters are left coming to terms with the disease and its repercussions in a process that will take a long time, much like life.


Betsy Fraser is a librarian with Calgary Public Library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364