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Book Review - 'The Memory of You' by Samantha Tonge

As many of my readers know, I specialise in caring for people with dementia in my day job. It is something I am passionate about. This wonderful book approaches the disease with care and dignity, all while providing a light-hearted and enjoyable read.

I am currently working on a book that centres around a younger woman receiving a dementia diagnosis. I can only hope I can deliver a heartwarming read with the right balance of enlightenment, compassion, and a little dash of humour, just as the author did with this book.

In this story we meet Alex, a previously successful author who is slowly watching her writing career go down the gurgler. She recently lost her mother and is in danger of losing her humble home. A chance meeting with a stranger named Hope offers Alex the chance to step into Hope’s life while she goes travelling. It starts out as a joke between the pair, but when Alex accepts, her life is changed forever.

You see, Hope works in the ‘The Wrong Order Café’. The café has a rather odd name, and it slowly becomes apparent why. A wide range of personalities, all with a diagnosis of dementia, work in the café. Kind soul Tom owns the café and wanted to create a safe space for them to thrive and retain a good quality of life with the right support.

At first, I took an instant dislike to the main character. She comes across as selfish and self-centered. We get to see her grow and change throughout the book, mainly driven by her lovely friendship that develops with Tom. Working in the café, she learns patience, empathy, and reconnects with joy.

There is a cheeky parrot called Mr Beaky, who has a foul mouth, but is part of the family. He has a sad story of his own.

I enjoyed this heartwarming story about love, kindness, friendship, remembering what's important, and who you are. The author does a beautiful job portraying the disease and the people who suffer from it in a positive light. After all, life doesn't end with a diagnosis, and this story shows that to be true. A lovely read.

I give it four stars.

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