Friday, January 21, 2011

Beginning with forgetfulness

Hanna's Daughters ~ by Marianne Fredrikkson, 1994
Her mind was as clear as a winter's day, a day as quiet and shadowless as if snow had just fallen.  Harsh sounds penetrated, the clatter of dropped enamel bowls and cries.  It frightened her.  Like the weeping from the next bed slicing into the whiteness.

There were many who cried where she was.

She had lost her memory four years ago, then only a few months later her words had disappeared.  She could see and hear, but could name neither objects nor people, so they lost all meaning.

That was when she came to this white country where time was nonexistent.  She didn't know where her bed was or how old she was, but she had found a new way of being and appealed for compassion with humble smiles.  Like a child.  And like a child, she was wide open to emotions, everything vibrating between people without words.
I've read this book before, but it was in the late 1990s and I've forgotten details.  The book is about three generations of women, and this woman is in a nursing home.  My mother was in such a place because she had Alzheimer's, so I'm interested in how it feels.  I don't want to put the book down -- it's that compelling -- and I've gotten to page 110, already.

If you want to play along, this meme is hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages.  Share the first sentence or two of the book you are reading.  (Sometimes it takes several sentences to get the full thought.)  Then, share your impressions of that beginning.  Click this link to see what others say about the books they are reading this week.

1 comment:

Helen's Book Blog said...

It's amazing how books pull us in and won't let go, especially when there is a personal connection.