Her Beautiful Brain: A Memoir

Her Beautiful Brain is Ann Hedreen s story of what it was like to become a mom just as her beautiful, brainy mother began to lose her mind to an unforgiving disease Arlene was a copper miner s daughter who was divorced twice, widowed once, raised six kids singlehandedly, survived the turbulent 60s, and got her B.A and M.A at 40 so she could support her family as a SeatHer Beautiful Brain is Ann Hedreen s story of what it was like to become a mom just as her beautiful, brainy mother began to lose her mind to an unforgiving disease Arlene was a copper miner s daughter who was divorced twice, widowed once, raised six kids singlehandedly, survived the turbulent 60s, and got her B.A and M.A at 40 so she could support her family as a Seattle schoolteacher only to start showing signs of Alzheimer s disease in her late fifties, taking Ann and her siblings on a long descent they never could have anticipated or imagined For two decades as Ann married, had a daughter and a son, navigated career changes and marital crises and built a life making documentary films with her husband she watched her once invincible mom disappear From Seattle to Haiti to the mine gouged Finntown neighborhood in Butte, Montana where she was born and grew up from Arlene s favorite tennis club to a locked geropsychiatric ward, Her Beautiful Brain tells the heartbreaking story of a daughter s love for a mother who is lost in the wilderness of an unpredictable and harrowing illness.
Her Beautiful Brain A Memoir Her Beautiful Brain is Ann Hedreen s story of what it was like to become a mom just as her beautiful brainy mother began to lose her mind to an unforgiving disease Arlene was a copper miner s daughte

  • Title: Her Beautiful Brain: A Memoir
  • Author: Ann Hedreen
  • ISBN: 9781938314926
  • Page: 162
  • Format: Paperback
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      Published :2018-06-09T18:58:58+00:00

    About the Author

    Ann Hedreen

    Ann Hedreen is the author of Her Beautiful Brain, winner of a 2016 Next Generation Independent Book Award She is currently working on a second book, The Observant Doubter Her blog, The Restless Nest, earned an honorable mention in the 2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists competition Ann and her husband Rustin Thompson own White Noise Productions and together have made than 150 short films and five feature documentaries Their newest film, Zona Intangible, is set in Peru Ann has a BA from Wellesley College, an MFA from Goddard College and is an alumna of the Hedgebrook retreat for women writers She loves to teach memoir writing, and has taught at Seattle Central College, Hugo House and other venues She is a frequent speaker on Alzheimer s and aging issues and an advocate for the Alzheimer s Association s Washington state chapter Her writing has been published in the Wall Street Journal, The Seattle Times, Patheos, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Minerva Rising and elsewhere.

    351 Comment

    • Shel said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      This bright memoir unwraps a writer's grief and presents a savoring of life's experiences. It shines attention on the epidemic of Alzheimer's and asks, "What if, instead of caring for them, we could cure them? What if we could keep Alzheimer's from happening in the first place? What if." This book lingered on my to-read list for some time, due to the difficult subject matter, and although it brought me to tears I am glad it finally made its way to the top. Notable: The author's effective advocac [...]

    • Linda said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      3.5 A memoir of a daughter dealing with life during her mother's Alzheimer's decline.

    • Kimberly Silva Ortiz said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      Ann writes about her mother. Tells her mother's story beautifully through Ann's eyes. While reading the book I felt that Ann was telling the story to me.It might seem to people that Ann jumps a lot around when writing her story, but this book is failry short and there's a lot of information to cover and in my opinion it was done wonderful. I was engaged and heart-broken in many of her chapter.I also really liked how every chapter covered a particular situation, and we read everything about someo [...]

    • Erica Smith said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      I should note up front that Ann is related to me, but that didn't affect my view of this memoir greatly - for one thing, I didn't know her very well before reading her book, and now I feel immersed in her life quite deeply! Ann wraps the story of her mother's life and early death from Alzheimer's disease around her own life experiences, and does it in a compelling and thoughtful way. There's plenty of pain in this book - it's not always an easy read - but there's also a great deal of hope, and t [...]

    • Abby Howell said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      Her Beautiful Brain is both the story of the author, a woman growing into her own passionate writing life, and her mother, declining into the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. This lyrical account is honest and touching. A wonderful homage that is also self-critical. At the moment of her mother's diagnosis, she thinks "I wanted to get awayI'm not up to this. Whatever is it is." But it is achingly clear how much her mother meant to the author and how much, every day, she misses her. At the conclusi [...]

    • Kim Stephan said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      This book is a personal narrative of a family's journey through early onset Alzheimer's disease, told about the mother through the eyes of a daughter. The author speaks authentically and painfully and informedly about Alzheimer's itself, but she does so much more. She beautifully describes a rich family history and makes her mother, at all ages and stages, come fully to life. What a gift, as I know from personal experience (my grandmother's dementia) how hard it is to preserve the "before" after [...]

    • Josephine Ensign said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      Most of this book serves as a medical memoir about a daughter's journey to understand her mother's early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. I enjoyed reading about what it's like to have a beloved family member develop, live with, and ultimately die with this disease. Never having experienced this myself, it provides useful insights. I wasn't so interested in reading the more personal/intimate parts of the book, such as details about her husband's affair. That part didn't seem essential to the main stor [...]

    • Donna said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      If you ever read Ann’s blog The Restless Nest, you know her talent for perfectly capturing our human frailties, as well as the goodness and decency of people, and the resilience of spirit against the inevitability of loss and the messiness of life. It’s all there in Her Beautiful Brain about her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. No sentimentality here, just head-on honesty that hits you deeply on every page.

    • Gay Dorsey said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      A loving memoir of a mother with Alzheimer's, written by her daughter. The story had moments of light and humor, and moments of sadness and despair. I felt at times like the author maybe dwelled a little too much on her own life, her own relationships and such. But all in all, it was good. Well-written, realistic, engaging, truthful, so very sad.

    • Christina said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      I thought this memoir would focus a bit more on motherhood and conversations with the author's mother, but I imagine all the writing about the family's roots, her parent's divorce, and the relationship with her older brother was very cathartic for Hedreen, albeit boring at times. The first few and last few chapters were engaging and made the read worthwhile.

    • Ann said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      Not sure if I am allowed to rate my own book! I have NOT been very active on but am working on changing that. And on learning how/whether I should/can interact as an author. But I am so grateful to the many people who have reviewed or rated Her Beautiful Brain. Thank you all!

    • Isla McKetta said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      A poignant look not just at caregiving but also at the relationship between a mother and a daughter. For a closer look read on the art of memoir and how this book searches for impossible answers, read my full review.

    • Kim said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      Beautifully written. I especially loved the last chapter! I suggest this book for anyone who has a loved one, or knows someone, living with Alzheimer's or anyone who has lost their mother. Poignant but not sappy.

    • Ann said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      Did not like her writing style. Jumped around too much

    • Allison Green said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      A thoughtful, poignant portrait of a much-loved mother by a grieving daughter. Yet somehow, in the end, hopeful.

    • Stephanie said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      the author's mother has Alzheimer's disease. This book chronicles the mother's journey at the end of her life. This book is gentle, personal, and sober.

    • Laurie said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      I could not stop reading this beautifully written memoir by a daughter whose mother slips away over 20+ years of losing her brain to Alzheimer's.

    • Juliann said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      I enjoyed this book, a story that helped me see that I am not walking this path alone.

    • Nae said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      I was expecting something different from this book but it was alright.

    • Anne said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 18:58 PM

      Chapters disjointed but possibly that way on purpose. Series of essays? Easy to read and interesting to hear another's story of this journey.

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