Cover Image: Allison's Gambit

Allison's Gambit

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Member Reviews

I specifically wanted to read this book as the topic at hand relates to a very close family member. I wanted to read about how Allison dealt with her mother's dementia, what impact it had on her personally; her family; her marriage; her time; her work; her friendships.
It was an interesting read with many parts that I could relate to. 
I didn't read about the author until the end - was rather surprised to see that this was in fact not totally non-fiction but more a collection about patients and caregivers, condensed by the doctor into a mother and daughter story - explained a lot about the ""How?"' of a few chapters - how did she know that etc.
A worthwhile read that I think every family member of a dementia sufferer needs to read. It leaves one with a lot of thoughts. Especially when it comes to elderly cost of care - nursing homes (frail cares here in South Africa) and medicine costs.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me the chance to read this book.
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Not sure about this book it was a very slow read, I like to get into a story within the first couple of chapters and if it hasn’t grabbed my attention by chapter 4 I find it hard to get through. This didn’t grab me!
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My original impression with this book was that it was a memoir and initially I enjoyed the book. C.A. Price covers many issues plagued by Americans today when it comes to healthcare. The last thought you should have is how to care for our elderly parents, let alone caring for the terminally ill. Allison, the daughter of two sickly parents, her father passed away from COPD. and her mother Nancy"s was just diagnosis with alzheimer's disease,.
One of the statements written by Price that interested me, "her father died, but her mother suffered.", seemed relative concerning Alzheimer"s disease, which is a cruel disorder. 
The book is broken into three parts, and the opening chapters covered the slow deterioration that occurred after Nancy's initial diagnosis and the situation became real when Allison needed to fill one of her mother's prescriptions and the copay was much higher than expected. What do you do when an extra $500 was not in the budget, and this is a valid discussion, which is why I was convinced this was a work of nonfiction. 
My attention was still with the book and at this point and its many relative arguments that the author made. I loved the example of spending $1600 on pharmaceuticals or $15 on condoms, both protect you from HIV. The entire chapter was both interesting and just a little humorous. It's in part two where the book fell apart for me. I preferred the novel as a work of nonfiction, plus I enjoyed the author's voice, it sounded scholarly, without sounding dense.
If the entire book held together as well as the first part, this would have easily been a four star rating, but unfortunately, for me the book was a two out of five stars. Thank you to NetGalley, C..A. Price, and the publisher for the privilege of reading this ARC in return I've written an honest review.
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Thanks NetGalley for an ARC to review. 
The book had a great potential but I honestly struggled to finish it.
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Allison's Gambit
by C.A. Price
Description
When Allison began to care for her mother with Alzheimer’s, she started to ask some difficult questions. At what point is a life no longer worth living? Would dementia be in her future too?

Worried that her mother’s fate may be her own, Allison comes up with an unusual approach to try and control her own demise: start smoking. After all, she would rather die of cancer or a lung infection than the way her mother did—unable to recognize her own family, to take care of herself, or even speak. The tough part will be getting her family and friends on board with her new perspective.

This book hit home to me. How sad, angry broken a caregiver can become. It is so difficult to watch a living person become a stranger. I know, Alzheimer's can and is a cruel thing.  . I enjoyed the point of view.
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This book has a really interesting premise.  Allison's mother has Alzheimers.  The novel tells the story of the experience of her mother's diagnosis and deterioration and the decision Allison makes that she does not want to die like that.  She'd rather die an early, quick death.
I don't know from experience, but it seems like the novel gives a good, realistic portrayal of dealing with a relative with this disease.  It is a sad book.  And really makes you think.
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This book turned me off right at the start with the premise that the writer would rather die of lung cancer than Alzheimer's, so she started smoking. Obviously, she has never had someone she loved die of lung cancer. It is not an easy, peaceful death. 

I went into this hoping for a poignant and insightful view of life and morality. Instead, we see the author dealing with her grief and issues with the way society treats the elderly. While the book had some good points, it seemed disjointed at times. The author seemed to use it as catharsis to work through the burdens of caregiving, the frustrations of the medical system, and her  misplaced guilt over feeling like she could have done more for her mom (though she obviously went above and beyond).. I did like the last chapter, where it seemed the author had worked her way to a place of peace, but not enough to overcome my dislike of the beginning. 

This book wasn't for me.
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This was such a good book , i have never lost anyone to Alzheimers but I know people that have and I have watched close family members of friends lose their lives to this awful condition. This book deals with the issues and emotions perfectly, at times i felt like i couldnt breathe I was so overcome with emotion. I was really hit by this gripping book and i will think about it for a long time
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Overall, the story was quite good and did investigate some interesting topics.

Unfortunately the pacing was extremely slow which took away from the enjoyment a lot, with some of the detail feeling unnecessary.
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I enjoyed this. I do feel it started a bit slow. It took a bit to really get in to it. It seemed to jump around a bit. It made me think a lot about death and the caregivers around us. The idea was whether you would want to die a slow death with people having to care for you, or if there was a way to decide to die a quick/peaceful death. Overall I really felt for the main character and what she went through as a caregiver. 

Thank you Netgalley and circuit breaker books for the chance to read this book.
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This started off so well, but I just couldn’t finish it and stopped reading at 45%. 
Essentially this book started well, I liked the hook, would you sooner die swiftly with all your faculties or risk losing your memory and dying among your jumbled up memories? I could tell the author has medical training, I’m a doctor myself and there were many shared insights into families and health related issues that you gather over the years of experience so I felt like this was really going to carry me away as a story. 
But it started to feel more like a memoir than fiction. The story just didn’t move forward at all and really just stalled. There was plenty of back story but it didn’t feel relevant as it came at the expense of moving forward. 
At part 2 there was a shift in narrative, suddenly we move to Nancy who we know dies, and it’s told in the 3rd person. This really jarred me as a reader and spoiled what was already a very slow paced book. 
Overall I felt the writing style had great potential but I needed much more by way of a plot for a fictional novel.
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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book from reading the blurb but it was absolutely a great book.  The main character is an anxious person who seen the worst happen to a parent and decides that she wants to control her destiny.  The results are heartbreaking and hilarious.
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This book calls on the reader to wrestle with fundamental questions of death, how we might want to die, and how an individual's dying can affect those around them.  It offers an honest examination of the challenges faced by a caregiver whose parent is suffering from advanced Alzheimer's as well as the repercussions caretaking for a person with dementia has on her family and personal relationships.  Anyone who has lived through this incredibly difficult experience will find the stark honesty of the book refreshing.  Anyone who has not yet lived through this caregiving experience may discover helpful perspectives and ideas for how best to manage what is undoubtedly one of life's most difficult situations. 

While some fiction offer readers a beautiful, well-told story, few such books inform the reader about life-and-death issues or have the capacity to really impact critical life (and death) decisions.  Allison's Gambit is one such book, ambitiously tackling a subject that verges on modern taboo.
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I appreciate the publisher allowing me to read this book. Though I found the subject matter difficult to read about at time, there are no easy answers but found it well written.
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