Cover Image: Dance Me to the End

Dance Me to the End

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Member Reviews

Beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking… this view of ALS was stunning in its clarity. The strength of a caregiver was so clearly described in these pages. Hard to read because it was so raw, but worth it.

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Book 28 of 2022 — Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days with ALS by Alison Acheson — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ — This book is a beautiful account of loving someone with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The author’s husband is diagnosed with the degenerative disease early in the book, and the author writes about his struggles as well as her and her family’s struggles to adapt and care for him as he declines. It was heartwarming to see how her love for him changes throughout the book and how she changed how she expressed that love. It was also interesting to read this book as a neuroscientist, using the book as a first-hand account of a neurodegenerative disease taking its toll on someone. Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I’m glad I got an ARC to read!

Thank you to @NetGalley and @ECWAudio for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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This book, Dance Me To the End, written by Alison Acheson, was beautifully written.. It was heartfelt and a tearjerker. as she poignantly shared her experiences and emotions about taking care of her husband for 10 months and 10 days after he was diagnosed with ALS. I was especially interested in reading it as I had a friend who died from ALS shortly after she retired from nursing, and I was a caretaker for 4 months for my Mother when she was terminally ill. Alison and her husband Marty, age 57, had been married for 27 years. She kept a journal about her experiences and emotions regarding his ALS which is intense and painfully private, She draws the reader into a very emotional and sometimes dark place with her detailed writing...That is the reality of ALS. What's sad is the lack of educated medical care.. For example, one nurse who came to the home knew nothing about ALS. Two days after her husband, died, and she needed to return medical equipment, she was coldly told to take it apart and return it herself. Sometimes she became so exhausted, she wanted to give up and place him in the hospital, but she had made a promise to him that she would care for him at home and that promise kept her going. This book explains the complicated emotions of many caretakers and the kindness and cruelties of some health care professionals. She also shares a good deal of research about ALS. I recommend this book highly.

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Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days with ALS is a beautifully eloquent and honest memoir of Alison Acheson's experiences with ALS after her husband's diagnosis. Released in 2019, it's 320 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

This is such a well written and touching book. There were so many times I stopped the book to just think about something the author had said. I find myself, some weeks after the read, still thinking about it. After a horrific, terminal diagnosis for her husband of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) she writes not only about the anger and confusion and shock, but also about the love of family and sometimes honest humour to be gathered.

The author is a creative writing teacher, and it does show in the writerly language and turns of phrase. I enjoyed her competence with the written word. Some readers might prefer a more pared down style, but I thought the sensitively nuanced writing absolutely suited the subject.

The unabridged audiobook is due out 30th May 2022 and has a run time of 7 hours and 21 minutes. It's capably narrated by Ellen Dubin. She has a warm alto voice which is pleasant to listen to. Sound and production quality are high throughout the recording.

This would make a good selection for public library acquisition, as well as for readers who enjoy memoir/biography.

Four and a half stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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