The Longest Farewell - Nula Suchet

Blog Tour stop for this brave, emotional and heartbreaking account of dementia

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"The Longest Farewell - James, Dementia and Me.... "


When Nula's husband James, a British documentary filmmaker, becomes forgetful they put it down to the stress of his work. But his behavior becomes more erratic and inexplicable, and he is eventually diagnosed as suffering from Picks Disease, an early onset and aggressive form of dementia. Suddenly their lives change from comfortable middle-class creatives through inexplicable behaviour, the shock of diagnosis, coping with the ongoing illness, not coping with the illness, to the indignities of care home life.

The Longest Farewell is a moving description of James utter mental and physical deterioration, and the effect that it had both on him and on the people from whom he was involuntarily retreating, particularly Nula. Her life is completely taken over by James illness: her frustration at trying to cope, her guilt at having to hand over his care to professionals in England, are just part of her at times harrowing story.

With James in care and left with seemingly little to do but wait for his death, Nula meets Bonnie, another resident at the care home suffering from the same condition.

In turn she meets Bonnie's husband, the broadcaster John Suchet and the similarity of their positions becomes a bond between them. After the deaths of James and Bonnie, and some guilt-induced false starts, Nula's story takes a bitter-sweet turn: they become partners, and eventually marry.

The Longest Farewell is a heartfelt yet inspiring account of dealing with dementia, and of unexpectedly finding a happy ending.

My Review

Brave, devastaing emotional, and utterly heartbreaking, I advise anyone before reading to stock up on tissues as this book left me in floods of tears

Nula Suchet shares with us an amost diary of her life and that of her Husband James, At just 57 years old, Nula’s husband was diagnosed with Picks disease – a rare form of dementia.

James was a reletavly young man to be diagnosed with deimentia first forgiven the changes to himself were put down to age and stress, after all this man lead a full life, travelled had a career writing and came across through Nulas loving words as an amazingly intelligent and kind man, a real gentleman.

for everyone must react to a diagnosis like this differently Nula is candied in the shock hurt and anger that was felt by both her and James, as slowly yet steadily this illness took of theie lives and changed James forever.

As his condition worsens we are carried away in grief at Nulas words in the struggle and heartbreak of placing James into a care facility, the utter heartache as losing her husband but the strong and brave choices made to make what life he had the best it could be.

Here she meets John Suchet’s who's wife Bonnie is also in the care home. John and Nula's relationships naturally evolves both dealing with the loves of their lives suffering for this cruel disease. She talks openly and with such rawness of not only the support and joy John brings but the underlying guilt they both felt as there relationship moved forward

As both Bonnie and James deteriorate nothing is glossed over the hurt and grief are laid bare.

This whole book is beautifully written right from the heart. I thank Nula for sharing the beauty of her and James love and their memories through the written word and the pictures that accompany this book.

Sharing her story I hope this book will help, console and inspire not only those touched by dementia but there family and the care givers too.

Author Bio

Nula Suchet was born in Ireland, part of a large family. After a difficult early life she became an interior designer who worked internationally in the UK, Europe and the US.

Now retired, she lives in London with her husband, the broadcaster John Suchet, who she met in the care home where their spouses were being cared for with dementia. Her book, The Longest Farewell, on dealing with her husband's dementia and the heartbreak that came with it is available now.

Purchase Links

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Thank you to the Publisher and Author for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel and for the opportunity to review these works.

All reviews are my own unbiased opinion.

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