‘He could no longer remember the first thing his father forgot. It came on slowly; his dad’s forgetting. Like a spider building its web in a doorway.’ are the words on the cover of this poignant and touching story about the slowly destructive condition known as Alzheimer’s Disease and the effect it has on loved ones struggling to accept all the many lasting changes which, sadly, occur.
Fosters dad and his wonderful stories are the centrepiece of Fosters life; his dad is the most wonderful dad ever and when he comes to Foster’s school, Foster seems to grow at least ten feet tall.
But one day somehow the stories he loves best seem to be changing a little bit and Dad is forgetting some of the bits, the best bits.
Foster knows something’s not quite right but just can’t figure out what it is; he knows his Dad is changing, he knows his Mum almost died, but that was a long time ago; he knows that whatever is wrong with his dad is pretty serious because life as he was used to, is also changing.
Dad is changing and Mum is getting more and more worried; Dad is starting to do some really weird things and he doesn’t go work anymore. Aunty is also around a lot more and she and Mum argue about Dad.
Then some strangers come to the house and talk a lot about his Dad and what is the best thing to do, but all this time, no one has really told him what is going on, what is happening and why Dad is like he is; he feels like he is carrying the world on his little shoulders and it’s just not fair!
Foster becomes more and more remote, missing his dad and sad because his Mum is always so tired and so sad. Foster reaches out to his dad in the only way he knows how, through stories that his dad always made up especially for him.
In Forgetting Foster, Dianne Touchell has captured the very essence of life in a family which is effected by this terrifyingly debilitating condition, taking the salient point of how it effects the children of parents with Alzheimer’s’ Disease, shouting out loud, that they too need to understand what is happening to their beloved parent.
Although written for young adults and teens, the story is such that all careers and families coping with Alzheimer’s disease should read this work as it opens up a completely different aspect, through the eyes of a child of seven years, about understanding and coping.
Touching, heart wrenching and wonderfully written, take the time to enjoy the storyline, the sentiment and the understanding encapsulated in Forgetting Foster; you will be all the richer for the experience.
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|