Thursday, April 14, 2011

Island Girl, by Lynda Simmons

Island GirlAt 55, Ruby appears to all those around her as a free spirited, independent woman full of life.  In reality, she is dealing with early onset Alzheimer's, which she wants to keep secret from her daughter Grace.  Ruby plans to commit suicide, but wants to make sure Grace will be taken care of, since Grace is slightly mentally challenged.  As Ruby begins to confide in the other people in her life, she sees a glimmer of hope, not only in her condition, but her relationships with all those around her.

I was greatly disappointed in this book.  As someone who watched my grandfather suffer with Alzheimer's, I was sad in the way the subject of this disease was handled in the book.  No real description of the disease was given (not everyone knows the particulars of its progression), and we never really get to know Ruby that well as a character, only a women with a disease.  I think I would have appreciated the story more if we met Ruby at the time of her diagnosis.

There are three mail female characters, Ruby and her daughters Grace and Liz.  And each character has 2-3 storylines going on.  It was all too much.  With all the issues, I never felt like I connected much with the characters.  Of the three, Grace was my favorite, but I still never felt like I knew her.  With the narrator and point of view changing each chapter switching between Ruby, Liz, and Grace) the timeline was fuzzy for me, and again there were just too many subplots.

I am sure for readers fond of dramatic stories, and tear jerkers, this book will be a good fit.  But for someone who watched a loved one suffer with this terrible disease, it may ring false.

I received a touring review copy of the book courtesy of Crazy Book Tours.