When thinking of a good romance novel to curl up with on a rainy day, most people are probably not thinking about Alzheimer’s disease. Registered Nurse Marianne Sciucco just might change some minds with her beautiful book, Blue Hydrangeas: An Alzheimer’s Love Story.
Relying on her experience working in healthcare facilities to bring comfort to many families dealing with the certain horrors of dementia, Sciucco based this, her first novel, on one couple in particular. But admittedly, she says that the story is a composite of a number of couples she met throughout her years of service.
This writer has always admired nursing students and those in the nursing profession, always believing I could never be bright enough to complete the coursework, much less diligent enough to make a career of it. The fact that this is Sciucco’s first published work is rather astonishing, in that it is a true pleasure to read. And it’s about Alzheimer’s disease!
Blue Hydrangeas is a heartfelt story about a loving couple who come to that too-often inevitable place in their lives where Alzheimer’s throws a roadblock right in the middle of their journey together. Like so many, Jack and Sara worked hard all their lives to retire and get their dream home. They open it up as a bed and breakfast and then comes the diagnosis for Sara.
Jack dutifully, lovingly and stubbornly, takes on the role of primary Caregiver like a champ. As the years progress and Sara regresses, she often becomes down-right mean and, what many would consider, impossible to cope with. But, despite his own failing health, Jack loves Sara and is defiant about keeping her home, where she belongs, with him.
When just about everyone in Jack’s life finally convinces him that he has no choice but to place Sara in an assisted living facility, he relinquishes – almost. It’s the journey that occurs following Jack’s ultimate decision that draws the reader even more into the truly heart-wrenching and beautiful love affair between these lifelong partners.
Sciucco’s use of dialogue is extraordinary and her understanding of how Alzheimer’s effects every member of the afflicted person’s family and social network is compelling. Blue hydrangeas are both a place and a metaphor in this work about love and devotion. And it has a happy ending!
Blue Hydrangeas: An Alzheimer’s Love Story is available at Amazon.com and other retailers, or buy it at: