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The Gingerbread House

by Kate Beaufoy

Three weeks in the life of 40 something Tess, temporary carer for mother-in-law Eleanor who is 10 years into dementia. Interestingly, the narrator and onlooker is her teenage daughter Katia. This could have been an unbearably sad book but for the flashes of black humour, surrealism, and most importantly LOVE which the author conveys.

Extract

Imagine if Mama had said, 'Well, Mrs E threw a spoon and yelled at me this morning and then I had to clean her shitty arse, and change her shitty sheets and feed her macaroni while she sneezed all over my lunch.' You just don't tell people the truth.

Parallels

Elegy for Iris by John Bayley
Confessions by Jaume Cabre
 

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