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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Lockhart's work as a neurobiologist is a result of what she values most in life -- the ability to understand how we connect to the world. But her lifelong interest in the brain takes a personal and unwelcome turn when her widowed mother begins to demonstrate the signs of Alzheimer's. Not even Lockhart saw her mother's recent shyness and fatigue as a symptom of the trouble to follow.
At the same time as her mother begins a descent that will render her helpless, Lockhart marries and becomes pregnant. As the tiny cells in her mother's brain begin to founder, healthy cells in her own body have begun to multiply, marking the beginning of her role as "mother in the middle" -- caregiver to an ailing parent and parent to a new child. In an attempt to stave off the inevitable, Lockhart moves her young family from the East Coast to her childhood home of San Francisco. As she sets out to construct a new life on top of old memories, her mother's condition worsens, threatening the fragility of Lockhart's marriage, career, and growing family.
What makes Lockhart's account unique is her melding of accessible science writing with the intimacy of her own story. In so doing, she conveys an agonizing process with bravery and honesty. (Spring 2009 Selection)