Keeper: A Book about memory, identity, isolation, Wordworth and cake...

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Short Books, Apr 1, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages

**WINNER OF THE INAUGURAL WELLCOME PRIZE 2009
** WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE 2010


Can our personalities be taken away from us? Are we more than just the sum of our memories? What exactly is the soul?

Three years ago, Andrea Gillies, a writer and mother of three, took on the care of her mother-in-law Nancy, who was in the middle stages of Alzheimer's disease. This newly extended family moved to a big Victorian house on a headland in the far, far north of Scotland, where the author failed to write a novel and Nancy, her disease accelerated by change, began to move out of the rational world and into dementia's alternative reality.


This book is a journal of life in this wild location, in which Gillies tracks Nancy's unravelling grasp on everything that we think of as ordinary, and interweaves her own brilliantly cogent investigations into the way Alzheimer's works. For the family at the centre of this drama, the learning curve was steeper and more interesting than anyone could have imagined.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Rita_h - LibraryThing

This memoir, written by a Scottish journalist, is a grim but honest account of what it is like to be a caretaker for older relatives, but especially with someone who is spiraling down into Alzheimer's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Citizenjoyce - LibraryThing

Keeper by Andrea Gillies is a thorough look at the emotional and financial cost of caring for a person with Alzheimer's that includes a good bit of writing about the science behind the disease. I came ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Andrea Gillies was formerly the wine columnist for Scotland on Sunday and editor of "The Good Beer Guide." She currently lives in Scotland.

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