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My new book, TIME TO LET GO, will be released on Amazon on May 15th.

Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.

Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives.

The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.

This is my first attempt at contemporary fiction and naturally I am very excited and nervous about it at the same time.

While I am in the last stages of coombing through the proof copy, I put the book on Goodreads and handed out Advance Review Copies.

Here are the first two reviews:

Lauren wrote: This story hits really close to home with me. My Greatgrandmother, who has passed and my grandfather, who is alive, both had/have Alzheimer’s. In my opinion it is the worst disease around. You watch your loved one’s forget everything, names, stories even how to live. This story has me in tears because the author truly understands and makes the story relate to everyone. I was brought up in a family that takes care of their own, no homes or live in nurses, we move in with one another and make it work. In this book Hannah suffers a tragedy at work and decides to spend time with her parents to get her head right. But after returning home she realizes her mother Biddy’s Alzheimer’s has gotten worse and harder on her dad. You become so attatched to these characters, and are heartbroken at the end because you know what lies ahead. This is a must read for anyone that has dealt with Alzheimer’s, even if you are lucky enough not to know anyone who suffers from it this is a great read. Have kleenex on hand and know that this emotional story will stay with you, but it is worth the tears. *****

Dermot wrote: Although Alzheimer’s disease plays a major role in this wonderful novel, this is not a book about Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes it takes a crisis to reunite a family and when air stewardess Hanna suffers a traumatic experience at work, this is exactly what happens, although not for the reasons she had initially anticipated. As one of Hanna’s brothers explains, people react differently to stress and trauma in their lives and how each of the characters in this story react to the stresses in their lives and how they impact others in their social circle is precisely what’s going on here. As a response to her stressful situation, Hanna reacts by retreating to what she thinks is a family that will comfort and support her in the rural countryside. However, her father Walter is dealing with the stress of his wife’s mental retreat from him and the world into a seemingly no-man’s land of confusion and forgetfulness, characteristic of Alzheimer’s. Interestingly, whereas his wife is bereft of memories from the past, Walter immerses himself more fully into his as he chronicles his family history as if fearing that if events from his past are not recorded, they may be lost for good, almost as if they had never happened to begin with. As they are pulled back into a family dynamic, Hanna’s brothers must also face the stressful memories of their past, both actual and imagined and are each given perhaps a final opportunity for family reconciliation, secrets to be finally revealed, etc., which they both respond to differently and tellingly for their very disparate personalities. A very interesting scene recounts a situation where under hypnosis, a war veteran patient suffering memory loss was able to remember events prior to the trauma that in his normal consciousness, he had no recollection. This suggests that the mind, in the role of shielding us from painful memories may be also preventing the recall of the happy memories, as well. Luckily for Hanna, however, this is not her plight and she faces her traumatic past and her stressful present/future with courage and fortitude, allowing for all possibilities both wished for and feared. In so doing, the universe opens doors before her where she herself could only see brick walls.

Here is an excerpt:

He heard Biddy stir on the sofa and his thoughts returned to the here and now. Biddy was all love and happiness when he went in to the living room to wake her with a cup of tea.

“Oh, you are so nice. Thank you, thank you so much. I love hot tea,” she said and she snuggled up to her husband. These moments of closeness had become rare between the couple and he cherished them. Sometimes he felt he had lost his wife for good with the disappearance of her memory, but then she was suddenly back for brief moments like this. They sat together on the sofa for a while without saying anything. Biddy took sips from her tea and Walter for a moment could live the dream that she was with him, as if she remembered exactly who he was and why he was here. Biddy leaned on him and he could choose to believe that it was a sign of their unbroken connection to each other. Dead brain cells, grey matter, synapses and shortage of chemicals – all the medical explanations did not matter.This moment did: him and his wife, Walter and Biddy Korhonen, and their unity on the sofa.

“You will make someone a good husband.” Biddy broke the silence all of a sudden, shattering the happy illusion, but she smiled at him with the utmost care and affection.

“Yes, I think one day I will!” he said smiling back, accepting that the brief, heavenly visit to the past was over and the new reality had returned.

“Now, let’s get you dressed and go outside for a walk. How about that my sweetheart?” he asked.

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