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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
A deeply moving and important book for our time, The House on Beartown Road adds an unforgettable chapter to our understanding of life, family, and Alzheimer's disease. A writer for an upstate New York newspaper, Elizabeth Cohen was living out her fantasy, snug in a cozy home in the quiet countryside with her newborn daughter and her husband, a talented artist. Life was good. Then came a call from her sister, who had been living with their parents. "Please," she pleads. "Take Daddy."
Daddy, it turns out, has Alzheimer's. Formerly a heralded economist and professor, he now has difficulty remembering how to use a phone. Elizabeth agrees to the new arrangement, but two months after her father arrives, her husband leaves. So begins the winter of her life.
For several months, Elizabeth holds down her job while caring for both her baby and her father -- despite blizzards, stomach bugs, and a house falling into disrepair. She watches, amazed, as her daughter learns things and her father forgets them. Elizabeth tries to ward off his illness with foods and mental games, but her father looks at her earnestly and says, "I am not sure who you are, or why you have been so nice to me." Cohen's editor, Katie Hall, has said that The House on Beartown Road might be the best book she's ever edited. It's not hard to understand why. (Spring 2003 Selection)