Title: FEEDING MY MOTHER
Subtitle: COMFORT AND LAUGHTER IN THE KITCHEN AS MY MOM LIVES WITH MEMORY LOSS
Author: JANN ARDEN
Genre: NON-FICTION, MEMOIR, FAMILY, ALZHEIMERS
Length: 210 PAGES
Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE CANADA
Type of Book: HARDCOVER
Received From: MY HUSBAND AS A CHRISTMAS GIFT
Release Date: NOVEMBER 21, 2017
Price: $26.00 USD / $35.00 CDN
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Jann Arden moved into a house just across the way from her parents in rural Alberta to be close to them but also so they could be her refuge from the demands of the music business and a performing career. Funny how time works.
Since her dad died in 2015, Jann cooks for her mom five or six times a week. Her mom finds comfort in her daughter’s kitchen, not just in the delicious food but also just sitting with her as she cooks. And Jann finds some peace in caring for her mom, even as her mom slowly becomes a stranger.
“If you told me two years ago that I’d be here,” Jann writes, “I wouldn’t have believed it. And yet we still fall into so much laughter, feel so much insane gladness and joy. It’s such a contrast from one minute to the next and it teaches me constantly: it makes me stronger and more humble and more empathetic and caring and kind.”
The many people who are dealing with a loved one who is losing it will find inspiration and strength in Jann’s wholehearted, loving response and her totally Jann take on the upside-down world of a daughter mothering her mother. Feeding My Mother is one heck of an affirmation that life just keeps on keeping on, and a wonderful example of how you have to roll with it.
I was drawn to this book initially by the beautiful cover and once I read the blurb inside the cover, I knew this was a book I just had to read. After reading the small poem that starts the book, I was enchanted.
“Another year, another page.
A million moments melt away.
The ticking-tocking hands of time,
what’s found and lost, remains sublime.
The details that we hold so fast,
are nothing more than memories past.
For love is all that lingers true,
the bond that ties my heart to you.”
– Jann Arden (2013)
Jann Arden is a Canadian icon and the fact that she is now dealing with a parent with Alzheimer’s Disease makes her seem less like an untouchable superstar and more like just another person of my generation who is dealing with aging parents. I can relate to her struggle.
Filled with gorgeous photography and touching moments, this book is one that everyone will want to read.
Jann may disagree, but her unflinching honesty and relentless positivity are inspiring. When discussing social media, she writes:
“Words are big. They define who you are. They are permanent… What you say is who you are. So try to be gentle on social media. Lift others up … Don’t always turn your words into weapons when you can just as easily make doves.”
She has articulated my exact feelings in a much more poetic and lyrical way than I ever could. I guess that’s why she is such an accomplished singer and songwriter.
The book is written in diary entry format beginning in June of 2014 with the final entry having been written in February of 2017. Jann has also included many of the recipes that she cooks for herself and her mother.
The recipes are written as if they had been noted down for you by a good friend after an enjoyable dinner party and yet they are also easy to follow and detailed enough that anyone and everyone should be able to recreate them in their own kitchen.
It would be impossible for me to rate this heartwarming and inspirational memoir as anything other than 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Jann Arden’s latest book has kindled my interest in her, not only as a singer/songwriter, but also as an author and I plan to pick up her previous books as well. In short, BUY THIS BOOK – You will not be disappointed.
To see a terrific video interview where Jann Arden talks about this book, visit the CBC Website.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
PHOTO BY: ALKAN EMIN
JANN ARDEN is a singer, songwriter, broadcaster, actor, author and social media star. The celebrated multi-platinum, award-winning artist catapulted onto the music scene in 1993 with her debut album, Time for Mercy, featuring the hit single “I Would Die for You.” A year later she had her international break-out hit, “Insensitive.”
She has written three books, the most recent being the #1 bestselling memoir Falling Backwards.
She is much in demand as a public speaker, and a favourite frequent guest on CBC’s Rick Mercer Report and a guest host on CTV’s The Social.
To learn more about this Jann Arden, visit the following links:
ONE OF MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS BOOK:
“The cliché is that we are supposed to live our lives in ‘gratitude.’ But gratitude is not something you acquire like a Happy Meal from McDonalds. It’s something you have to slowly create in your daily life through intention and sincere acts of goodness and kindness.”
This book is also part of a Reading Challenge that is being hosted by GINGERMOM READS BLOG where I have committed to reading at least one book title from every letter of the alphabet in 2018. It is the #2018AtoZChallenge