Tuesday, January 25, 2011


LOST FOR WORDS - Deric Longden

The book opens with Deric's Mum creating a comic pile up in the local Marks and Spencer's when she spills cherry yogurt and butter on the escalator. He goes on to regale us with Mum's various quirks, her belief in the medicinal efficacy of Buttercup Syrup, her deflection of the anger of an annoyed football fan who tells her the cafe is reserved on Wednesday for Sheffield Supporters, with her remark, "My cat watches Match of the Day, but I prefer the wrestling myself."  Mum Longden's eccentric wit and wisdom help Deric heal after his first wife's tragic death and propel him into the arms of his second wife. Then Mum has a stroke that takes away her ability to speak coherently. Deric records his efforts to help her live with some happiness the last difficult years of her life. Near the end frustrated by the nurses' failure to see his mother as a person, he brings in a photo of her as a young, vibrant woman. He writes: "When the shifts changed over the new nurses picked up the photograph and saw for themselves just a glimpse of the real woman behind the twisted tongue and the addled brain and they talked to her as they changed her dressing." This book should be required reading for all who attend the elderly.

The book was made into a television movie starring the wonderful British actress Dame Thora Hurd and Peter Postlethwaite. I remember seeing it and being very moved. I'm hoping it's available through Netflix.

Amazon.com or you can borrow it from me.

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