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The Half-Life of Everything


A beautifully written and uplifting debut novel.
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Is the premise innocently cruel?

Created: 02/17/19

Replies: 7

Posted Feb. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teacher reader

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 47

Is the premise innocently cruel?

As far as I know, there has been no treatment that has "cured" Alzheimers to the point that someone could actually return to their normal life. My mother was in a home for nine years before she died, and my little sister is struggling with the beginnings of the disease. I was very uncomfortable with the premise of the book, thinking it would discourage caregivers, or worse yet, give them false hope.


Posted Feb. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Nannygoat

Join Date: 01/16/19

Posts: 6

RE: Is the premise innocently cruel?

Do you mean cruel in the sense of holding out false hope?

Think of all the trials that have led to something. This may happen.

The basic premise of the story, to me, is not the trial. It is how a person faces conflicting values when it comes down to the wire.

David loves each of them. His wife can no longer be physical with him in a way she enjoys. Should he be satisfied with that over the next 40 years? A marriage vow is a vow: until death do we part. Should he be able to discard it?

How does one decide what to do, what to choose? It is a matter of what is the most important value in your life ... the vow, the relationship, love one give up the other ... it could be any of them.


Posted Feb. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teachlz

Join Date: 07/28/16

Posts: 50

RE: Is the premise innocently cruel?

In my opinion, Alzheimers is a cruel and terrible disease that affect all the members in the family, as well as the person who has it.


Posted Feb. 24, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 132

RE: Is the premise innocently cruel?

Anything that brings better understanding to this terrible disease is a positive. This is a work of fiction and does not represent itself as anything else.


Posted Feb. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marks

Join Date: 02/25/19

Posts: 90

RE: Is the premise innocently cruel?

I love the notion that this is "innocently cruel." By no means am I trying to downplay Alzheimers (in fact, I have a better understanding of the disease after reading this book), but I think it provided the perfect vehicle to create a scenario where something like this could happen. It was refreshing to read something that lacked a stereotypic bad guy. It was almost like cheating without cheating.


Posted Feb. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marthas

Join Date: 03/02/17

Posts: 19

RE: Is the premise innocently cruel?

Yes. Since there is no known cure for Alzheimers, I fear that someone reading the book might have a false hope for a cure.


Posted Mar. 02, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janee

Join Date: 01/15/18

Posts: 14

RE: Is the premise innocently cruel?

This is a fictional story. I read unbelievable science fiction so is the premise cruel? Maybe if you chose to read this book looking for answers to cure Alzheimer’s.


Posted Mar. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teacher reader

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 47

RE: Is the premise innocently cruel?

Thank you, Marthas, for understanding what I was saying. I am well-aware that the book is fiction, and I am sure the author had no intention of implying that a cure was possible. But I still believe that someone in David's position might develop a false hope for a cure or feel bitter because the fictional world could provide one.


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