Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
The Things We Keep
A poignant story of one of today's nightmares: early-onset Alzheimer's.
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

Created: 02/23/16

Replies: 16

Posted Feb. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

Expert

What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

When Eve suggests to Angus that Anna and Luke are in love he says, "But even if they loved each other once, they can't really love each other now, can they? How can you love someone you don't remember?" Eric makes a similar argument, saying that people with dementia are incapable of falling in love. But Rosie says "Dementia steals things—memories, speech, other abilities. But I don't think it changes who you are or who you love." What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?


Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 69

Expert

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I agree with Rosie statement. I think it is a basic need for love and the touch of another human being.


Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 60

Expert

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I agree with Rosie. The heart and the head are separate entities. Emotions are held in a different part of the brain than memory. I think that feeling lasts. Eric's statement, and even Angus' to a point, angered me. It was so limiting when clearly there were feelings between Anna and Luke. They might not last or be remembered, but what was the harm in allowing them to take comfort from them while they were? It is human to love and to crave connection.


Posted Mar. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 114

Expert

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I agree with Rosie - I think that the need for love is a basic human emotion and even if Anna and Luke didn't remember situations, they remembered feelings.


Posted Mar. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 278

Expert

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I too,agree with Rosie. Love, touch and feelings are basic emotions needed by a humans and probably many living things


Posted Mar. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
diannes

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 4

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I agreed with Rosie, but also could see her brother's side as to presence of mind and consent.


Posted Mar. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanr

Join Date: 04/25/12

Posts: 37

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I think this question goes to the central theme of the book: is love possible if there is severe brain impairment between the individuals? If we accept that love is possible, then what should caretakers do? On one hand, there is the autonomy of the individual to respect. On the other hand, there are valid questions of consent and whether the individuals are able to express their wishes and desires. The author seems to side with Eve and Rosie, but skillfully presents the other side represented by Eric and to a lesser extent, Angus. As a result, I found myself contemplating the issues presented long after I finished reading the book and am still sorting out my response. A very thought-provoking book!


Posted Mar. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 45

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I lean toward Rosie's side of this argument. I think even if you don't remember the person, somewhere you still remember the feelings. That is why Anna and Luke became less agitated when they were allowed to spend time together.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
hazeyr

Join Date: 03/24/12

Posts: 19

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

Ana and Luke clearly had a connection, and both were capable of expressing their nerds and wants. Keeping them separated was not a great solution to potential problems such as an unplanned pregnancy


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccak

Join Date: 05/26/12

Posts: 45

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I wavered between the two sides, to be honest. I understand the need for love and togetherness, but at the same time I worry about consent. I think more nighttime staffing would have solved the problem in some ways - I didn't like the idea of locking them in their rooms at night, but I don't necessarily think they should have been able to wander the entire building at night and be alone upstairs.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 90

Expert

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

Though I would probably side with Rosie and Eve, I understand Jack's need to protect his sister. I do think Anna and Luke being allowed to be together was the right thing. It seemed they craved the connection they had above all else.


Posted Mar. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeanettel

Join Date: 01/05/12

Posts: 53

Expert

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I feel that we still don’t know that much about dementia and as it steals your speech your memories your abilities to function daily, it definitely changes who you are and who you love.


Posted Mar. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

Expert

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I agree with Rosie. We just don't know how dementia affects the ability to love. Maybe a different definition should apply in Anna's case.


Posted Mar. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sandyf

Join Date: 03/09/16

Posts: 3

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

Initially, I would have looked at the situation as jack did. As I read and thought, I realized that all that these 2 people with dementia had was their connection to each other which gave them love and peace. Ideally they would have received birth control pills and the relationship allowed to proceed as the two needed and wanted. Their being together hurt no one and gave them light where nothing else could.


Posted Mar. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanw

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 28

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I go along with Rosie. They connected. They loved each other. It appeared to me that even those moments when things weren't "right" for them that each one helped the other. I think they loved each other. What's wrong with alike people being there for each other? They understand more than the average person does. This is my second book about Alzheimer's - and I know of two people who had it - it is devastating on their family because we don't understand what they are going through and how it feels.


Posted Mar. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 310

Expert

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

I agree 100% with sandyf. Let people in this situation have whatever comfort they need - and provide birth control.


Posted Mar. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rivkahh

Join Date: 05/04/15

Posts: 10

RE: What did you think about love and dementia as you were reading? Did you agree more with Angus and Eric or with Rosie? Did your ideas change as you read? Why or why not?

As I was reading the book, I definitely sided with Anna and Luke (and Eve). In a real-life situation, though, it would be a bit more complicated. As in the book, pregnancy could result, and what would become of a child born to parents suffering from dementia? Would it be fair to bring that child into the world under such conditions? Her brother had legitimate worries.


Reply

Please login to post a response.