November 26, 2020

The Wide Circumference of Love

On this Give Thanks Day, let's be grateful for our wits, our memory, our intuition and voluntary actions. November is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month and I purposely saved Marita Golden's award-winning novel, The Wide Circumference of Love, for my leisure read this month. 

It is a moving story by a woman of color about characters of color in a strong black family. Their acceptance, adaptation and unconditional love is well told when the head of the family is faced with Alzheimer's disease. The Wide Circumference of Love is more than the ordinary black family tale. Slice a piece of Thanksgiving pie and settle in for this review!

"Cancer fights fair compared to Alzheimer's. And African Americans? We've got a 50 to 70 percent greater risk of developing it than anybody else, because of our higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol." ~ 37%

"This love was a country to which she was ready to pledge allegiance." ~ 81%

Diane and Gregory Tate have been together for decades. They didn't plan on facing early-onset dementia in their 60s yet here they are. Diane is a family court judge and Gregory was a successful, high-demand architect. But his memories are slipping away. Through carefully placed chapters, readers can see his decline in health from his own point of view. 

We also get Diane's side of the story and her struggle with placing him in an assisted-living facility. We also hear from their daughter, Lauren, who is following in her father's professional footsteps and their prodigal son, Sean, who tries to finally forge a relationship with his father before it's too late. As if this isn't enough to tug at your heart strings, you may feel it slightly break when Gregory finds love with another resident in the memory care unit.

"In the novels she loved, the march of life was relentless, the shocks and surprises unfolded right up to the last page." ~ 91%

The Wide Circumference of Love carries us from 1960 to 2016. History and the present are perfectly intertwined to tell the story and get you vested in the Tate family's lives. Caring for an ill relative can tear the closest family apart. Marita Golden did such a great job writing on the effects of Alzheimer's to the spouse, children, elderly parents and the person affected too. Though this novel is fiction, I learned a lot about the horror of Alzheimer's. It claims lives and takes a toll if you cannot accept and adapt early on. Learn to love what is left.

Bookhearts, we don't have our whole lives ahead of us. Spend every day how YOU choose to. Because we only have today. We've got now to enjoy the wide circumference of love! 

Title: The Wide Circumference of Love
Author: Marita Gold
Published: March 2017
Pages: 300
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤


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