When Claudia Sloane is arrested for the murder of her mother-in-law, everyone is stunned, especially her husband Sam. Claudia loved Eleanor as if she were her own mother and would never have hurt her. At least, that's what Claudia insists. But even Sam begins to wonder how far Claudia would go in the name of love: did she help the terminally-ill Eleanor commit suicide?Upon first marrying Sam, Claudia thinks she's found the "happily ever after" life she's always dreamed of. She has an affectionate and devoted husband, and in Sam's mother, Eleanor, the orphaned Claudia finds the mother she's longed for. The perfect family soon crumbles, however, as Eleanor descends into the horror of Alzheimer's dementia. As each terrifying year follows, Claudia bears the burden of Eleanor's increasing dementia and loss of identity: violent & unpredictable emotional eruptions, physical attacks, protracted silences, incontinence, even suspected suicide attempts. Soon, the money saved for other projects, including children and family-businesses, is depleted taking care of Eleanor. Claudia loses her own business, and her marriage to Sam is suffering from the strain of his mother's care. When Eleanor is found dead with a collection of empty pill bottles scattered around her bed, Claudia is charged with murder, and the family's world is blown apart. Again. During the widely publicized trial, Sam tries desperately to maintain his belief in his wife's innocence despite the mounting evidence against her. Meanwhile, Claudia unwillingly begins to suspect that Sam may have helped his own mother commit suicide, but is letting his wife risk conviction for the murder. Gripping and suspenseful, compassionate yet unflinchingly honest, the crime thriller Only with the Heart deals with the dreadful effects of terminal disease (especially Alzheimer's) on its patients and their Caregivers, explores our primal need for acceptance and family ties, and examines the complex and evolving nature of love.On the Recommended Reading List of Alzheimer's Chapters nationwide, this revised, expanded edition includes newly written scenes to include updates in Medical treatment & medications since the novel was first published. Changes in the legal system regarding assisted suicide lead to a shocking ending, dramatically different from the original. Chapters from Eleanor's section which were accidentally omitted from the first edition have been restored. A Chapter-by-Chapter Scene Index and Discussion Questions for groups, teachers, and students are provided. The Author's Note explains Szeman's own experience with Alzheimer's and being a full-time Caregiver, while the Sources list organizations and services for those dealing with Alzheimer's and Caregiving. 12th Anniversary Edition"Bold and ambitious."
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About the Author
Alexandria Constantinova Szeman is the author of several award-winning, critically acclaimed books, including The Kommandant's Mistress, Only with the Heart, Love in the Time of Dinosaurs, Where Lightning Strikes, Naked with Glasses, and Mastering Point of View. (formerly writing as "Sherri")