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Dementia: A Two-Person Illness: Background information when reading One Puzzling Afternoon

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One Puzzling Afternoon

A Novel

by Emily Critchley

One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley X
One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley
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  • Paperback:
    Oct 2023, 368 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Valerie Morales
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About this Book

Dementia: A Two-Person Illness

This article relates to One Puzzling Afternoon

After a dementia diagnosis, the rules that families depend on — who takes care of who — just don't exist anymore. The hierarchy of parent and child or grandparent and grandchild dissolves under lost memory. Dementia is an illness that affects two people: The patient, and the person caring for them. Anger or frustration often ensues because of what has disappeared. This occurs throughout Emily Critchley's novel One Puzzling Afternoon, but a particular example is when Edie, a widow, mother, and grandmother in the throes of early-stage dementia, becomes irritated while in a café. Her son and granddaughter are unaware she has slipped into a period of the past when she was a sixteen-year-old girl. She is fussy and rude and accidentally spills hot tea on her granddaughter, Amy, who she then confuses with a waitress. Amy is devastated.

In the United States, about six million people are currently living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Most live in ...

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