**SEE THE END OF THIS POST FOR DETAILS ON THE GIVEAWAY!!**
About the Book:
Do you have to forgive someone a lifetime of sins, just because they have Alzheimer’s?
Island Girl by Lynda Simmons is the emotionally riveting story of a 55 year old mother, Ruby Donaldson, fighting to reunite her family as she struggles with the diagnosis of early on-set Alzheimer’s.
Facing the terrible reality of her illness, Ruby refuses to let the disease control her future. But before she can take any final action, she must find a way to convince her older daughter Liz to grow up and come home; to take her place as head of the family in order to secure the future of their home on the island, and ensure that Liz’s younger sister, Grace, will be cared for in the only place that is safe for her.
But Liz and Ruby are estranged for good reasons, and now Liz wonders why she should forgive her mother just because she’s sick. Does Alzheimer’s somehow grant Ruby instant immunity, a moral get-out-of-jail-free card?
Ruby always thought she’d have a lifetime to make things right, but suddenly time is running out.
Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.
With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.
When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her – like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!
Ruby, bless her heart, she was my favorite character. A character who is both complex and intriguing, and suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. There are some parts of the story that I honestly didn’t quite feel, but the way she just wanted what was best for her family, and to right the wrongs, was amazing. Her early onset of Alzheimer’s truly helped her in a way. She wanted the best for everyone, while, in the process losing herself to a horrible disease.
Having sat by and watched my grandfather with this same disease, it breaks my heart, in a way, to sit here and read a novel about the sufferings and the race against time to try and remember things. But, I also remember the things that he did, and he, like Ruby, wanted the best for everyone.
The other characters in this story, Grace, Liz and Mark, were phenomenal. They lent a depth to the story, as they too, had to come to grips with this evil disease taking over Ruby. It truly was like watching the book come to life, and making me a part of it; like it was me with my grandfather all over again.
I will warn you and say that this is HIGHLY emotional. It is not a “light” read, by any means. It will grip you, it will take you on an emotional roller coaster at times, and it will become you. Five star work, an incredibly moving plot line, and characters that become the reader, this is a book that I would recommend to EVERYONE. This author is fantastic and I am looking forward to more emotionally moving work by her.