*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Archie Royle is a kind, funny, gentle man.
He’s also my dad. My storyteller. My hero.
Except he doesn’t remember my face any more.
His world, these days, doesn’t include me or his family.
Life may have changed for him, but he hasn’t given up on life.
Not at all.
It’s just different.
Dad still tells his stories, albeit for a new audience.
He makes people smile and chuckle. As he always did.
He’s a fighter, a survivor and maybe sometimes too clever for his own good! He’ll surprise you. I can assure you of that.
Welcome to Magic O’Clock, where time is irrelevant and hope is unlimited.
Magic O’Clock is a sweetly sad short story about the loss of self of dementia.
The two main characters are the nameless narrator and her father, Archie, and the premise is simple yet very moving. The focus is on the narrators thoughts and feelings as she watches her father go through his daily routine in the care home he lives in.
There is little to no interaction between the two, but they both share in the love of stories and storytelling and have an unusual bonding moment whilst one of them is unaware.
This story is a lovely one for families with loved ones suffering from dementia as it offers a hope that part of the person they once were remains.
Blurb: As Archie Royle takes his final breath, three sisters race to say their goodbyes.
Two don’t make it in time.
And now, it’s all my fault they’re too late.
Despite him having dementia.
Despite them not visiting in over a month.
But I won’t let anger win.
After all, we’re all grieving, aren’t we?
Surely, as a family, we can let bygones be bygones.
It’s what Dad would want. Expect.
It’s what he deserves.
We have so much to be grateful for.
So many fond and magical memories to share.
Magical Memories is a fictional tale of loss, grief and moving on.
Magical Memories is another short story featuring the same anonymous narrator from Magic O’Clock.
This time the focus is more on plot than before, and two new characters are introduced, simply named Big Sis and Middle Sis. Archie barely features as he has declined severely since we first met him and most of the story is focused on the bitter aftermath of his loss and the practicalities that intrude upon his daughters’ grieving.
I would have liked to see more of the sisters’ shared memories of their father and his magical storytelling which gave Magic O’Clock such a warmly nostalgic feel, but overall this is hopeful story about grieving, acceptance and moving on.
Both stories are highly touching and intimate accounts that clearly come from the author’s own personal experiences. I recommend reading with tissues handy!
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