Swimming Solo -- memoir now available
Swimming Solo by Susan Rava is a beautifully written memoir of 14 years of Susan's life when she was the main caregiver for both of her husband's parents and both of her parents as they serially succumbed to Alzheimer's disease. During these years, Susan was a French professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Her book is extremely timely and will be comforting to anyone who is facing the challenge of watching a loved one's deterioration from this dreadful disease. When Susan first contacted us about publishing her manuscript, we almost didn't ask her to send it along because we feared the book would be too sad to bear, but we were wrong.
From a reader on the Barnes and Noble site:
When one is robbed of his or her memory, as were these four people who had lived a vital life into old age, the family is often challenged to remember and to weave together stories of the person they love as they were in better times. Susan's story of managing care for her parents and in-laws is interwoven with memories of times when they each and all were vibrant people contributing to the communities in which they lived and loving their families as spouses, parents and grandparents. There are many books that help us to better navigate other life transitions--being pregnant, being parents of young children, sending children off to college, finding the right career, even recovering from the loss of elderly parents and other loved ones. But there are very few in this category. I expect it will become a sort of bible for people who are also swimming solo in this life transition. And, if one is fortunate enough to not encounter such a transition, the book still presents a lovely story about family resiliency across generations.