I was unsure how I would like this story – after all it’s about a woman saying goodbye to her mother who has had Alzheimer’s for a very long time and is now dying of congestive heart failure. Doesn’t sound like a very happy or uplifting read. But it is.
Krista Mueller has had a rough life – she never knew her father, her grandparents died when she was 10, her mom was emotionally distant and then during her teen years became noticeably mentally unstable. It wasn’t until Krista was in college that her mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Charlotte was over 40 when Krista was born and hadn’t had an easy life either. Krista never understood her mother and had never tried to understand her. But now Charlotte is dying and Krista realizes she needs to find some healing and let her go.
Dane McConnell is the director of the nursing home and a childhood friend of Krista. They even dated in high school, but something happened between them and then Krista could never bring herself to get too close to him again. Even though he still deeply cares for her.
Dane found an old Christmas song book amongst Charlotte’s possessions with journal entries in it. Through the handful of entries Krista allows herself to think about her mom’s life from a different perspective and find healing.
The story jumps between the present and the past frequently and it’s rather confusing. Krista is a history professor so she remembers facts and events that took place around the time of each of her mom’s journal entries. Which is neat, but it’s hard to follow the timeline.
I would have found it helpful to know at the beginning that Charlotte was over 40 when Krista was born and that the story takes place in about 2002 (when the book was originally written – it was first published under the title Christmas Every Morning). So now you know. Hope it helps.
There are a few sweet kisses and the reader is told of some immoral choices and an instance of sexual abuse but no details are given. It’s a sweet story of a daughter trying to understand her mother. It’s a sad story of a woman once full of life now close to death. It’s a realistic story of a woman coming to grips with her painful past and figuring out how to face her future.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.