Here is a recent and very much appreciated 5* review of my Alzheimer’s Family Drama
“Time To Let Go”
The book is short-listed in the literary fiction category in the
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We meet the Korhonens family when Biddy, the mother is at a fairly advanced stage of Alzheimer’s; the story starts no long before things will become unmanageable for her husband, Walter. The focus shifts between Walter and his daughter Hanna, who have two slightly different approaches to caring for Biddy. The feeling that a peaceful, ‘normal’ life can be easily disrupted by Fate is present from the very first pages, what we as readers do not realise at the beginning is that Hanna’s life is about to face a far-reaching and unexpected twist. In the meantime, the focus shifts from Walter to Hanna in imperceptible steps.
If we do not remember what we have experienced, have we still experienced it? While Biddy is now leading a happier life than at the beginning of the disease, the experience of loss of self with the loss of memory is particularly poignant for Walter, while Hanna seems to have accepted (as far as one can) the inevitable and more concerned about her mother’s happiness than identity. Here lies the dynamics of a novel which does not simply deal with the consequences of an incurable condition such as Alzheimer’s, but with the broader need to let go at some stages in our life, when events that we had not expected tell us that it is time to follow out fate rather than trying to determine it.
Against the severity of the syndrome, which creates a veil of sadness throughout the novel, there is, however, a clear and bright positivity on this book, while rendering that very British middle class propensity for understating rather than overstating, which makes the emotional dimension of this novel even more subtle. Fate, tricky and I fathomable in it’s intentions though it appears in the story, has, in the end a very benign nature at it ps heart.
I suppose many of us have found ourselves in long spans where dark clouds are so dense that we forget that the Sun is still out there; Time to Let Go reminds us that sometimes, our need for continuity, our need to hold on to our habits and our way of life (symbolised by Walter’s dedication to routine, as well as his determination to preserve family history, which I believe represent two aspects of our relationship to the past) can itself be the very cloud that obscures the light of the Sun.
Thanks for this wonderful and thoughtful review, Adriano Bulla on Goodreads
Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain. Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives. The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.
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When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.
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When advertising executive Erica Whittaker is diagnosed with terminal cancer, western medicine fails her. The only hope left for her to survive is controversial healer Arpan. She locates the man whose touch could heal her but finds he has retired from the limelight and refuses to treat her. Erica, consumed by stage four pancreatic cancer, is desperate and desperate people are no longer logical nor are they willing to take no for an answer. Arpan has retired for good reasons, casting more than the shadow of a doubt over his abilities. So begins a journey that will challenge them both as the past threatens to catch up with him as much as with her. Can he really heal her? Can she trust him with her life? And will they both achieve what they set out to do before running out of time?
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time To Let Go” , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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