Thursday, August 18, 2016

WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER

I suppose most of us know someone who has Alzheimer's. Shannon Wiersbitzky's grandfather developed the disease and eventually he even forgot who she was.

That personal heartbreaking experience led to the writing of WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER, a touching novel about a resourceful girl who loves gardening with Old Red, a grandfather figure in her small town. Because Old Red's heirloom flowers are enjoyed by townspeople and strangers too, Delia comes up with a business plan for the two of them - saving and selling his seeds so their beauty will enhance life in Tucker's Ferry, West Virginia for years to come.

While they garden together, Old Red tells stories of his life. But as dementia moves in, Delia realizes he is losing his own story. Once again she comes up with a plan - this time to recapture Old Red's memories. But, for that, she needs the help of the whole town.

Shannon says, "I wanted to capture what it feels like to be forgotten, in the hopes that any child experiencing the disease would know it isn’t their fault.”  

She has done that so beautifully in WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER. I believe that children who've experienced dementia in a loved one will be touched by Delia's determination to keep Old Red's memories alive. Perhaps those readers too, will move closer to their loved one, rather than pulling away.

All of us, whether we know someone with dementia or not, would do well to value the stories of those who've come before us as Delia does. 

Shannon is also the author of THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS, a prequel to WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER. 

You can learn more about Shannon at her website. She writes for Maria Shriver's blog and she is intentional about being a positive influence on the world. 

4 comments:

  1. Lovely review, Joyce. This is on TBR Goodreads shelf!

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    1. Enjoy! And let me know what you think. And maybe you'll want to read the prequel first. I wish I had.

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  2. I loved this book -- every word of it. I hope this gets a whole new group of readers finding their way to this wonderful book. Thanks for your thoughtful review, Joyec. It was great to see you this week, if only for a short time.

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  3. Agreed, Rosi. I keep thinking about What Flowers Remember when I am in my garden. There is so much symbolism in the gardening and seeds aspect of this story. I could write another review just focusing on that.

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