Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a tragic secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family.
Where the Light Gets In
tells the full story of Linda’s illness—called primary progressive
aphasia—from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the
present day. Kim draws a candid picture of the ways her family reacted
for better and worse, and how she, her father and two siblings educated
themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and
found unexpected humor and grace in the midst of suffering.
Ultimately the bonds of family were strengthened, and Kim learned ways
to love and accept the woman her mother became. With a moving foreword
by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, Where the Light Gets In is a heartwarming tribute to the often fragile yet unbreakable relationships we have with our mothers.
Cafe Lily's Review:
I actually read this when it first came out, but it has taken me this long to find the time to review it.
Personally, I liked this book, because I could relate to it. I felt like I was right there with Kim and her family, as they went through the discovery of their mother's illness. Kim is open and honest about the mistakes they made, and the struggles they faced. My heart ached, when I read what Kim's father went through, trying to keep his wife at home.
I will say that if you are a very conservative reader, there may be words and subjects that offend you. Kimberly is a very open and honest writer and shares exactly what was said, swear words and all. For those of us who have lived with dementia related illnesses, we understand this is a reality. It didn't bother me, because I lived that out with my own mom's Alzheimer's.
This is a hard, very emotionally raw read. Kim opens up her heart and home, through the words she shares on the pages of this book. You literally see their story play out, from the time when Kim was just starting out in her career, to her wedding which actually was a huge red flag, leading to her mother's diagnosis.
I have to say, that though I am not a huge country music follower, and I don't know much about Kim's husband Brad, my respect level went up for this couple when I understood how much they have have personally invested, both financially and physically, in the care of Kim's mom.
This is a story of family, pulling together, pooling energy, time and resources, all for the love of one woman.
I highly recommend it!
*If you would like to read about my personal experience with Alzheimer's and dementia, I have been sharing our story in my Precious Memories posts, dedicated to my mother who battled Alzheimer's:
I share snippets of our story, and some things I learned along the way.
Precious Memories Part 1
Precious Memories Part 2
Precious Memories Part 3
Precious Memories Part 4
Precious Memories Part 5
Precious Memories Part 6
Precious Memories Part 7
Precious Memories Part 8