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Welcome to the departure lounge : adventures in mothering mother
Meg Federico
Adult Nonfiction HQ1063.6 .F43 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this frank account, by turns sad and terribly funny, the journalist Federico describes how her distant, patrician octogenarian mother, Addie, grew batty and vulnerable. Federico, the youngest of Addie's five children, rearranged her life with her own family in Nova Scotia to fly back and forth over the course of several years to Oldhill, N.J., to assist, along with her brother William, her mother and her mother's Alzheimer's-addled second husband, Walter. Recently married (Addie's first husband, the author's father, died of a heart attack years before), the couple drank heavily, complicating Walter's tendency to become abusive and Addie's physical frailty and bad eyesight. Finally, constant home care was required for the couple, necessitating the hiring of a team of revolving, frequently in-fighting workers, some truly caring, others downright crooked. The house became a disaster zone, christened the Departure Lounge, where the inhabitants erupted in loony non sequiturs and erratic behavior. Addie would put on all her jewelry and sing show tunes (until the jewelry mysteriously disappeared); Walter began receiving sex toys in the mail; and a trip to the bank resulted in $1,600 in dollar bills flying out of the limo window on the way home. Federico gently delineates the humiliating burden caused by the loss of memory, while humanely portraying a brave new sympathy and understanding between her mother and herself. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

When her 81-year-old mother suddenly descended into dementia, humor writer Federico flew 1000 miles away from her family and her job, thinking she'd help for a short time until her mother settled in with the aides. Things didn't turn out to be that simple. This book attempts to bring humor to the undeniably burdensome (yet often deeply rewarding) experience of caring for one's aging parents, but it quickly descends into camp, with caricatured descriptions that make empathy difficult.-E.B. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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