About My Mad Dad
This is a wonderful, rather special book: funny, warm and loving but also thought-provoking and deeply moving. Absolutely unforgettable - ironically.' ADAM KAY, Sunday Times bestselling author of This Is Going To Hurt
A waltz at a funeral
A hernia the size of Guernsey
Heartbreaking and darkly comic, these are the moments that litter the messy road from cared-for to carer, a journey that Robyn Hollingworth finds herself on when she's only twenty-five years old.
Leaving London to return home to rural South Wales, Robyn finds that it's her old life - same teddy bears resting on her pillow, their bodies tucked under the duvet; same view of the garages behind which she'd had her first cigarette and first kiss - but so much has changed.
Her dad, the proud, charmingly intelligent, self-made man who made people laugh, is in the grip of early onset Alzheimer's. His brilliant mind, which saw him building power stations and literally bringing light into the lives of others, has succumbed to darkness.
As Robyn settles back in the rhythms of life in the rain-soaked vast Welsh valleys, she keeps a diary charting her journey as the dad she knew disappears before her eyes. Lyrical, poignant and with flashes of brilliant humour, My Mad Dad explores how in helping others we can heal ourselves.
My review of My Mad Dad
I love to read real life stories. I love to feel that human connection. So, when I got the chance to read My Mad Dad, I was hugely excited. I wondered how Robyn would document her journey in caring for her dad, and what I found was an eloquent, moving and honest account of caring for a father diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It made me laugh and cry.
While reading I had to keep reminding myself that I was reading had been written by a twenty-five-year old. As a young woman, Robyn left London to move back to Wales to care for her father. At that age I had been married for two years and was embarking on my career as a nurse. I wondered how I would have coped in the same circumstances. What I read was a heartfelt account of a daughter's love for her father, and a need to simply give back and care.
From the moment I picked up this book I couldn't put it down. It's a mesmerising read which is completely relatable, in that you have to seek the humour in the most darkest of moments. I completely got this. You would think that reading a book about Alzheimer's would be all doom and gloom, and a serious resd, but what Robyn Hollingworth has managed to do is to create a book that tells it exactly how it is, from the carer's point of view, and that there is humour, that you have to laugh, otherwise you would cry. But, at the same time she does not shy away from the difficulties, and the emotions from caring for a father who no longer knows who you are.
I truly believe that everyone would benefit from reading thus book. But in particular, I feel that healthcare professionals would gain a truer picture of how Alzheimer's affects the entire family. I also think that sometimes the needs of the family can be forgotten in caring for the individual. I feel that it's important to seek information and advice from the family. Sometimes these voices ate not heard.
My Mad Dad has a strong voice. The powerful and emotive voice of a young woman who deeply loves her father and wants to care for him. I heard her voice clearly in my mind, and it will stay with me for a long time. It's a beautiful book.
I won a proof copy of the book via Twitter
My Mad Dad was published on 19th April by Trapeze