[[ READ PDF ]] ☠ Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother and Me ⇹ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free
Tangles is a fiercely personal and beautiful and of course sad graphic memoir focused on the author s relationship with her mother and the journey she and their family take after her mother, Midge, is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer s disease This is Leavitt s first book, and it deals with Midge and her sister, Midge s two daughters, and her husband It is, as you might expect, two parts heart wrenching, with a little dash of humor and a few cups of rage and several parts fascinating as Leavitt tracks the steady decline of her sweet and wonderful and smart mother This is a teacher s family, they are everywhere, and Leavitt captures the spirit of the special care and attention of her family of caring teachers in this project As I read it, I steeled myself for the hard parts, the disintegration But Leavitt takes her time, helping us get to know her, her Mom, and her sister, her Dad, the cat, her partner Donimo This is in particular a short and intensely loving bio of her Mom, and a family history of sorts They deeply love each other we see what s at stake in what this horrific disease does to damage them all, though they do find ways to be a close family in spite of all the challenges Since we get to know this lovely family a family that loves music, that loves to cook and drink wine, that loves to dance we of course care as we see things fall apart We also get a good and fascinating really also terrible, yes look at the decline of a brain and the extent to which she is conscious of that decline.Leavitt isn t always there, she lives far away, so it would be interesting to hear what her quite different sister or her father would say of this memoir, but I suspect they would fully support it for her love and all the passion and rage in it What I thought when I was reading it There are professional memoirists and diary comics folks who choose to tell their daily stories all the time, but this is different, somehow Leavitt does comics, she does other stories, so she is an artist But this project feels like it could be seen as a kind of model for what we should all do in response to the most important things in our lives Leavitt is a lovely artist she may not be the best comics artist in the world, but she is earnest and honest and sincere and compelling and accessible and this comes through in her drawing She makes us feel it, and that is a gift greater technicians may not be able to pull off as well Leavitt says she is working on an animated film of Tangles, and she also has an interactive website about the project s a review in Graphic Medicine I didn t even know there was such a cool publication with a sample page
[[ READ PDF ]] ⇱ Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother and Me ⇨ In This Powerful Memoir Sarah Leavitt Reveals How Alzheimer S Disease Transformed Her Mother, Midge, And Her Family Forever In Spare Black And White Drawings And Clear, Candid Prose, Sarah Shares Her Family S Journey Through A Harrowing Range Of Emotions Shock, Denial, Hope, Anger, Frustration All The While Learning To Cope, And Managing To Find Moments Of Happiness Midge, A Harvard Educated Intellectual, Struggles To Comprehend The Simplest Words Sarah S Father, Rob, Slowly Adapts To His New Role As Full Time Caretaker, But Still Finds Time For Wordplay And Poetry With His Wife Sarah And Her Sister Hannah Argue, Laugh, And Grieve Together As They Join Forces To Help Midge Tangles Confronts The Complexity Of Alzheimer S Disease, And Ultimately Releases A Knot Of Memories And Dreams To Reveal A Bond Between A Mother And A Daughter That Will Never Come Apart Provided By Publisher I love this book I tend to be drawn toward the form of the graphic memoir, and this was not what I was expecting, but I appreciated the emotional honesty, humor and clear eyed presence with devastating loss There is something very simple about the book Here is a writer who wants to hold onto time as her mother declines, knows that soon her mother will be gone, and the only way she can think to hold onto this time , these moments with her mother, is to keep a journal of their daily life.The book is broken into parts, and then sections in a way that makes it a little less narratively connected and complex than some other graphic memoirs I ve read It s vignettish I suppose, without the kind of building, recursive reflection that often weaves through similar stories And yet, Leavitt invites us into her world in a way that honors her experience, her relationship with her family, and her mothers illness, and with tenderness and care, explores the complexity of family dynamics when a devastating illness hits I also really appreciated that this is a book in which the queer writer and her partner play a big role It felt really good to read a book about a family in which people are emotionally connected, and queerness is not the tragic focus, but an accepted and appreciated part of life The opening scene the first section of the first part is called Nightmares, and I just finished reading The Door by Magda Szabo, which also opens up with a nightmare And, as it turns out, last night I had a bit of a nightmare myself Scary, but kind of cool, too Very moody, a lot of noirish atmospheric pressure I think it was in a kind of dramatic, night time black and white in the rain dream I often dream in color And I m pretty sure part of it had to do with eating fast food eek And then, the usual anxieties my dreams are filled with Don t need to go into that here, but often there is a kind of voicelessness in a time when the voice is most needed, and that is also something that happens in the opening of The Door But not in the opening of Tangles Sarah is young in this opening scene and older reflecting back on this moment , living with her parents, and having a nightmare and she screams and waits for her mother to come in This is her ritual She calls out, then pretends to be sleeping when her mother comes in so she can hear her mother say, It s okay honey It was just a dream Only, of course, the illness her mother suffers from is a harsh reality, one she wishes she could wake up out of So, this is a graphic memoir in which Sarah s mother, who has always been provident, nurturing, a solid presence in the lives of her sisters Sarah s aunts and her husband and daughters Sarah and her sister , and her students she is a teacher becomes and unraveled untangled by Alzheimers She does her best to find some continuous presence in her mother, and to remain compassionate though all of the challenges One of the hardest things to tangle with emotionally in here, and perhaps intellectually, is the question of what it means to be human Sarah s mother is able to articulate a feeling of no longer being a person as her illness progresses, and not only is this acutely painful to witness as a reader, but it brings up so many questions about the bonds that tie us together, and tie us to ourselves.Some sections are one or two pages, some are much longer They weave through time and offer just enough context to make sense of the present moment, and many of them start with quotes or transcribed conversations, often with some of the absurdity of language and thought that comes from dementia, and what Leavitt calls poetic mistakes.So, this book is a mixture of humor and anguish, with some travel through time and from place to place Sometimes I wanted it to be a bit intensely reflective, but as it is it is a beautiful book and one that I think will continue to have a lot of meaning for a lot of people That said, I have a friend who has been going through a lot of hardship watching a family member die of early onset Alzheimers, and I am wondering if I should send it to her or not It s hard to know.I recommend this book and look forward to reading of Leavitt s work 4 5 I read this intense graphic memoir for the first time only a week after I had heard about it from a Goodreads friend thanks, Dov Then I reread it a few days later But I couldn t bring myself to write about it then True, I m always a dozen or so reviews behind, but I had thought this book would be easy to review I knew how I felt about it I loved it I knew what I wanted to say see review below As it turned out, I m thinking I waited these three and a half months because the wait gave me a good excuse to read it a third time Sarah Leavitt s memoir describes her mother Midge s decline from Alzheimer s The book s in three parts, roughly chronological Part 1 begins with the first signs of something not being exactly right and ends with the full diagnosis of Alzheimer s Part 2 details Midge s gradual deterioration Part 3 describes the final stages of Midge s deterioration and her eventual death I say these parts are roughly chronological, but the past is always present in all three parts and is not always chronologically presented So even as the story proceeds to its inevitable and sorrowful ending, there are many glances backwards and sideways throughout.The title seems to come from something Leavitt s lesbian partner, Donimo, said about Midge Your mom s mind is like the garden this summer tangled, but with spots of brightness 114 And that description is a fair one for this memoir, which includes loving views of Midge her husband, Robert their daughters, Sarah and Hannah and their families and Midge s parents and two sisters There is a deep honesty and integrity to how this story is told We see many moments of joy throughout One of my favorites has Midge, well along in her illness, out on a walk with her daughters, a walk that ends joyously in a rainstorm We also see moments of anxiety, fear, anger, and regret Dealing with this illness is something everyone in this book is always just beginning to learn to do We peek in as each they deepen their understanding and enlarge their already aching hearts Leavitt especially second guesses herself throughout Am I doing enough Are the things I am doing the best things to do By the time we are finished with this book we have a strong sense of the entire family and all their nuanced responses to Midge s illness and to each other Leavitt seems excessively honest, showing all the family members at their best and worst and at most stages in between Each person is clearly presented there is no confusing any of these people with the others Yet their very specific story has a universality to it that will speak to most people dealing with a case of Alzheimer s in their own families Or to someone like me who has not had that challenge. I m going to feel bad about giving this two stars because this is someone s painful story they are sharing with you Unfortunately, I really started to resent how long this book felt Each page consisted of so many panels and I wasn t feeling anything as it went on when I should have How could I not care about the author and her family as they dealt with their mom having Alzheimer s It should have worked but I couldn t quite put my finger on why I wasn t feeling any emotions toward this story There were some things in the story that bothered me such as when the Sarah and Hannah laugh at their mom when she eats a candle, or when she apologizes to the furniture whenever she happens to bump into it, or when she goes up to the mirror and talks to her reflection I probably would have been upset at stuff like this had the book touched me on a deeper level but the connection just wasn t there for me to truly care The one thing that I do wish authors would stop adding to these type of memoirs is the oversharing of personal information Why does every memoir on old age or illness have to have detailed information about the affected person s hygiene The author goes into detail about her mom s pubic hair, bathroom accidents, bad breath, body odor, and overall appearance I know she probably wanted to let the reader know as much as possible about what this disease does to a person, but I always cringe thinking how that parent would feel if she knew such intimate details about her were being shared with the world I just feel like that person deserves a little bit of her dignity preserved.There was one moment that made me feel very sad for the author as she explains how she always felt afraid of cleaning her mom for fear that she would look like a pervert to someone on the outside Sarah is a lesbian and she was so afraid that someone would think she was somehow being improper toward her mom for doing something loving and caring for her I thought that was really sad that she would have that fear.There were a few sweet moments scattered throughout but the book did not pick up for me until the last 20 pages For the most part, I was a little bored and annoyed with the length. Sitting down to read the first pages, I m forcing myself to go slowly, to absorb the wonderful details and deeply moving story So far I ve found myself re reading certain pages because I m just so moved by them, and so fascinated very excited to add comments after I m done savouring this wonderful work.After finishing the book One might assume that a book about a family s journey through Alzheimer s would be one sad story and nothing In the case of Tangles, they would be very wrong.This amazing book made me laugh heartily and cry deeply, yes it also drew me into the world of the family as though it was a part of my life, also And I think that is a marker of an excellent author regardless of whether the story is purely fiction, non fiction or some combination of the two.Sarah Leavitt s loving and brave accounts of her times with her mother as the disease of Alzheimer s progressed kept me captivated My first graphic novel and the author s made me want to savour the book in short, delectable morsels, like a delicious new food that I wished to savour and appreciate, though I found it hard to not sit and gobble the entire book one rainy Sunday afternoon The details in Sarah s drawings told as much and than the words, at times Seemingly simple drawings convey so much rich detail I found myself re reading panels to examine each thorougly I could feel the love pouring off the pages, even when other emotions were so clearly being conveyed.Although Alzheimer s has not touched my family personally, there was so much I could still relate to, as a daughter, a mother and a sister.I highly recommend this book to everyone. Pure emotion in book form You see the love, the good, bad, and ugly in everyone It is very real and touching. Ever since reading Still Alice, I ve been fascinated by early onset Alzheimer s, and I really liked this graphic novel The art is not why you would read this book very simple black and white sketches, but the honesty and pain shines through This memoir is told in short story vignettes form, and sheds light on the effects of this disease on the patient and their family Well worth the read. The last graphic memoirs I read were Alison Bechdel s Fun Home and Are You My Mother , making my expectations for this work unusually high For one, I was disappointed upon opening the book to see that the art is simplistic at best Yet, I was pleasantly surprised that despite their lack of depth, they still contributed to the meaning and sentiment of the book a great deal.In this story daughter Sarah recounts her mother s slow ascent into Alzheimer s disease I picked up this book because I wanted something different, but I also was drawn to hearing about the real Alzheimer s experience as my grandmother was recently diagnosed and has started exhibiting symptoms Levitt s story was sweet and loving, yet surprisingly raw She divulges all the ugly sides of Alzheimer s such as her mother s anger, her own resentments, and the day to day care giving that can drain the sufferer s and the caregiver s dignity.Whereas these instances can make the reader uncomfortable, it cannot be argued that Alzheimer s and Dementia are subjects that are in dire need of such blunt honestly Alzheimer s makes us uncomfortable A loss of memory and mental acuity feels tantamount to the loss of a person s soul and identity Account s such as Levitt s can help families recently diagnosed with the disease as they prepare to cope. I have often wondered while reading memoirs or something very personal How do the authors manage to put all this down to paper All the hurt, the anguish, the memory of it all, on paper for others to read I do not know how they must feel to put it down to go through those memories all over again, so they can tell it to the world I am sure though it must not be easy to do that This thought crossed my mind as I finished reading, Tangles A Story about Alzheimer s, my mother and me by Sarah Leavitt, a story of her mother s illness and her love for her, and that is in a graphic novel format.I had wanted to read this book since a while now, however something else kept coming in the way, pushing this one on the back burner And when I finally did, it reminded me of someone who I had known with the disease and all the memories came rushing by Anyway, back to the book Tangles is one woman s story about losing a parent and at the same time strangely enough, also finding a parent through Alzheimer s The content and context is heavy and may be that is when the book being in a graphic novel format helps Tangles is the story of Sarah and her mother and Sarah seeing her through Alzheimer s It covers six years of her mother s life with the onset of the disease through her death and the emotional turmoil Sarah and her family goes through For me it was about the disease and what it does to you as a person at the same time what it takes from you Fragments of memory are snatched slowly and steadily till it reaches a stage when you struggle to remember your loved ones Sarah writes about it with a touch that makes you want to reach out to the author The novel covers everything the dark humour, the spark, the burst of energy and frustration, the reaction of the family, the last moments and the very angry moments as well.To reflect on a disease through a graphic novel format is not unusual A lot of writers have done it before So it is only common if you tend to compare it with Fun House by Alison Bechdel or with Charles Burns Black Hole The quality of illustrations is on the spot, making it seem real enough, which for me was very important while reading the book The connect of the reader will but obviously be very high, given the nature of the book and yet at times the reader will forget that it is a memoir and Sarah s mother went through it all Tangles at the same time celebrates life for what it is, for what it was and how it will be The story is honest It is raw It is also quite tender A story of a mother, her disease and her daughter.