Read The Stages of Grace by Connie Ruben Kate ONeill Online


This book was written out of a desire to share with others who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease what I have experienced as Grace’s caregiver and friend. I wanted to capture the emotions, the expected and unexpected issues, the painful times as well as the humorous and loving moments that Grace and I have shared as a result of this disease. This is not meant to be aThis book was written out of a desire to share with others who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease what I have experienced as Grace’s caregiver and friend. I wanted to capture the emotions, the expected and unexpected issues, the painful times as well as the humorous and loving moments that Grace and I have shared as a result of this disease. This is not meant to be a handbook for dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, but I hope that by sharing my feelings and experiences, readers may recognize that they are not alone on this particular journey. ...

Title : The Stages of Grace
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781499053463
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 150 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Stages of Grace Reviews

  • Dhivya Balaji
    2019-05-08 09:14

    FIRST IMPRESSION: Memoirs have never been books I really look forward to reading. Especially those about haunting ailments and the loss of loved ones. But as a book lover, and someone who looks at diversity in the genres I read, I sometimes sit down to read a memoir / autobiography. Somehow, knowing that I am reading about real people, who have lived real lives, long or short, that has in some way been noticeable enough to write a memoir about changes my whole perspective while reading the book. This was no different. The cover (and the image) looks stunningly simple and graceful (not a pun in anyway). By the author's own admission, it is not the best individual picture of either of them but there is something so beautiful about it that it works well as the cover image. The summary was short and to the point, and spoke volumes about the relationship between the caregiver and the patient.REVIEW: The first thing I will note about memoirs is the sincerity of the tone in which they have been written. This is purely a subconscious habit but to me, a honest book written in simple language works better than a book that uses words with a flourish, adding more drama and trying to make the book more memorable / quote worthy. I read Stages of Grace in one sitting because it was simple, it was beautiful and very heartwarming. It does help, though, that Connie Ruben is an amazing narrator, trying to find a fine balance between telling the story as it is and including the details that will make it not only understandable but also enjoyable to the reader. Yes, enjoyable - I use this word because it is hard to stay with a book if the author doesn't manage to interest you. Not to be confused with using more of the drama element, writing a book that is interesting is more about the straightforward and simple style.Connie Ruben has managed to pen down her experiences with her mother in law Grace Ruben (and now we know how apt the title is) as she watched her be affected by Alzheimer's and gradually become increasingly worse by the disease. She has done so in an interesting manner, and for many reasons, this book is memorable. I have not had to face the painful feeling of watching a loved one become incurably sick, but I have known enough people who did to help me empathise with what I was reading in this book. I could understand, at least in parts, what Connie would have felt while writing the book, trying to relive, many times over, each of those painful little incidents that happened during her time as a caregiver.The book works because it is written well. But it also is from the heart and I can understand how much Connie loved Grace as a friend, a mother and a mother in law with the way she talks about Grace. The depth of the bond is quite visible in the words Connie chooses to describe Grace and there is a simple, almost humorous honesty in the way she talks about herself and the beautiful years they shared together. I have always admired the courage it would take for someone to relive, in writing, what was probably the most trying and testing time of their lives. But those who have the courage to do it - maybe to help someone else who might be just as confused and lost as they were or to just speak about their experiences - are exceptional people.Stages of Grace talks about all the emotions the family of the affected person might feel. The discomfort, the denial, the shock at seeing a strong, witty, talented beautiful person losing their essence, the despair at the diagnosis and ultimately the resigned acceptance. The sooner this phase gets over, the better for everyone involved. It is not an easy task to see a loved one suffer, and it is harder still to have to stand by them, seeing them become a shadow of the person they once were. There are times when one would get angry, at the drab hand fate had dealt them with, or be reduced to tears, unable to pour out what the emotions are when they have to understand the extra care and affection the patient needs. It is hard to classify a loved one as a 'patient' who needs to be cared for, and not show them that aspect. Connie's honest account speaks not only about her stages of acceptance but also about how her mother in law Grace reacted at every juncture.This is in no way a guidebook to dealing with Alzheimer's but coming from a person who has seen the effects of the disease from close quarters, this book (probably even inadvertently) gives tips on dealing with the same. The tips are not always about finding the right way to behave around the affected person, but also about how they themselves are handling the disease. There are some beautiful quotes from the book (I have chosen very few of some exceptionally good ones that impressed me) that gives the reader an idea of how the book is.On her initial impression of Grace RubenHer kind manner is not a behavior she works to maintain; the naturalness of it cannot be learned or emulated.On not always knowing the best thing to doHindsight can be disingenuous; it suggests that there was a path to be followed even when we couldn’t see it.On handling the devastating diagnosisGrace deserved my best support, my confidence and assurances. She didn’t need my fear.We were nervous, and nervous people find a lot to be afraid of.Finally, summing up the disease and the frustration.It seems so unfair that Grace has to endure this and that those of us around her have to witness it.VERDICT: A beautifully written, emotional account of dealing with Alzheimer's from someone who knows how it is.RATING: 4.5/5

  • Michelle (Bookaholic Banter)
    2019-04-27 08:09

    First, let me start off by saying that my Grandfather had Alzheimer's so this book was very near and dear to my heart. It was easy to relate, Even if you have never had a family member, or known someone who has/had Alzheimer's this is a memoir that is written well and will hold your interest. Every page kept my interest. It was never tedious or boring. This story will help those who don't know of the disease Alzheimer's learn more about it and when it effect it has on a person and others. Those who do know someone with Alzheimer's will take comfort in reading this. It will let them know that they are not alone and that others are going through the same or similiar situations. I even learned a few things that I didn't know about the disease. This story will have you laughing at moments, it will break your heart at others, and warm your heart at moments as well. It is a story of love, family, overcoming obstacles, and a story of selflessness. It was interesting on every page and I didn't want to stop reading it. I enjoyed the way the chapters were broken down. It was like reading seperate little stories. I could sit down and enjoy a chapter at a time and feel like I made progress on reading the book. Even though the chapters were a little lengthy, they held my interest and read so fast that they didn't seem long at all. Anyone who loves memoirs, is a care giver for someone, or has a family member or friend with an illness or disease will enjoy reading this story.

  • »мσяgαиα« (over the hills and far away)
    2019-05-16 08:28

    I start by saying that I knew what feelings, this novel could trigger; so when you have to live a situation like this, when you see someone you love "get lost", you can not remain indifferent. In fact, I have not remained indifferent. I think I cried for most of the reading, thinking of my grandmother. There's never a right way to describe a disease, however, this book deals with the so blunt, no sugar the pill, opening eyes to some and giving support to others, through what for Grace and Connie is a journey through ups and downs, between joy and pain.To conclude this brief review, even in two hundred pages, The Stages of Grace is one of those books that help anyone to live in close contact with a person suffering from Alzheimer's: it is not a compendium on how to deal with and manage the disease, but - as I said - a stand that shares those same fears, anxieties, joys and frustrations that those who follow a sick person can understand.

  • Aurora
    2019-04-21 08:11

  • Dawn
    2019-05-15 05:10

    I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.This isn't the type of book I normally read but I decided to read The Stages of Grace for a change of pace and I'm glad I did. I already know how Alzheimer's affects families since my grandmother and aunt had it. I was also a home health nurse and helped a couple caregivers deal with the challenges of caring for loved ones with this devastating disease. So, I've seen Alzheimer's disease from different points of view, but haven't seen an in-depth view of the caregiver from dealing with it when it is first diagnosed until the disease is debilitating.I have heard several times that at least the patient doesn't understand what is happening. Grace's reaction is proof that she may not understand why something is wrong but she sure knows that something is wrong. I remember when I was a teenager visiting my grandparents (they lived in Chicago and we lived in Joplin, Missouri), and my grandma said, "I know something is wrong with me." It broke my heart, but I didn't know what to say or do. At that time she hadn't been diagnosed but soon after, she drove the car through the garage because she confused the brake and the accelerator. She and my grandpa ended up in a nursing home shortly after that. The next time I saw her she didn't recognize me. The Stages of Grace is a good read for anyone who isn't familiar with Alzheimer's and would like to know a little more about how it affects families and caregivers. So many people can't handle caring for their loved ones and end up putting them in a facility and I know there are a few good ones out there. Connie, though, has taken it upon herself to care for Grace and after reading this book I do believe she is Grace's saving grace.

  • Marilyn R.
    2019-05-20 10:16

    I have always been drawn to the stories of others - the reason my focus has been interviewing for the last decade. So when this book came to my attention, it went right to the top of my to read list. Stages of Grace is the author's very personal and very honest recounting of her journey as primary caregiver for her much loved mother-in-law, Grace. For anyone just starting down this road, I think there are tremendous insights to be found. Ruben discusses her fears, the guilt in not being able to always KNOW exactly the right steps and how Alzheimer is a game where the rules are always shifting. While the main focus is on the the author's (and the family's) journey both physical and emotional, she tucks in nuggets of advice received from Grace's primary doctor and some of the talented heath care professionals she dealt with. She also openly shares mistakes made as she navigated the unknown.Hardest to read are those moments where Grace disappears and the disease takes over. Each time the question arises - will they be able to bring her back this time? So far the answer is yes. Most uplifting are the moments of blessing that come. Yes, there are blessings to be found.For family members just starting this journey with a loved one, I highly recommend Stages of Grace. It will offer you insight on ways to face what is ahead and permission to accept that sometimes you just don't know the answer. Even though there are tough moments - the author has written this account to "...assure others that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be enjoyable, life-affirming, and emotionally significant."

  • Carla
    2019-04-30 08:36

    The Stages of Grace is beautiful, open, honest look into the life of a caregiver and friend. This book had me in tears, laughing and wanting to give both Connie and Grace a hug. Connie writes in such an open and honest manner, that you feel as though you are right there with her having the conversations, talking about the joys and pains of life with a person with Alzheimer's disease.Alzheimer's disease is not an easy disease for anyone to deal with (not that any disease is but this one comes with its own ups and downs). It can be painful, it can be frustrating but at times beautiful and honest. We watch Grace travel down her road with Alzheimer's and some times she is there in every moment while others you can feel how alone and scared she must be. I can't even begin to imagine the fear that must come from not remembering those around you or what happened hours ago. The frustration and fear must be unbearable for the person involved.The caregiver, in this case Connie, also goes through a great ordeal as they slowly lose parts of the person they love. That person is still there but the glimpses come in bursts. The love Connie has for Grace is beautiful and brought me to tears at many times. She is such a strong, beautiful and kind daughter.This is the perfect book not only for caregivers but anyone that is dealing with Alzheimer's disease. It is not a book to guide you on dealing with the disease but instead a way to share emotions, the good, the bad and the ugly. It will leave you smiling, with hope and at times in tears.

  • Angela Thompson
    2019-05-01 02:09

    This is an open, emotional memoir from an Alzheimer's caregiver. No matter the illness, owning the role of caregiver is a difficult hat to wear. The stages of Grace take us along the journey from the first days of the diagnosis onward. The author shares her thoughts, fears, doubts, anxiety, pain--and life lessons learned--as she braves each day's ups and downs. Ruben offers readers a well written book in The Stages of Grace. Sometimes, a memoir wanders a lot with random thoughts and memories from various stages of time. While, Ruben shares memories--she maintains a sense of organization for her readers in each chapter. Would I recommend The Stages of Grace by Connie Ruben with Kate O'Neill? If Alzheimer's has touched your life in any stage--this is a wonderful memoir for readers. Ruben faces each stage alongside her beloved Grace and shares her very personal experiences and emotions. Caregivers often feel overwhelmed and alone--whether caring for a patient with Alzheimer's or any terminal or chronic illness. Ruben creates a heartfelt memoir to let other caregivers know that they are not alone--and their own emotions are real and that learning to work through them is even necessary to their patient. While this book isn't a guidebook to Alzheimer's care--it is a book that caregivers will be able to relate to and maybe find a bit of comfort in.I received a copy of this book from the author or publisher.

  • Debra Schoenberger
    2019-05-19 08:27

    I had the opportunity to meet Connie at the 2015 Book Expo in New York and that is where I first saw her book about her life with Grace..Connie first meets Grace through Grace’s son (and her future husband) and immediately forms a very close and loving friendship with this lively and caring lady..Years later, in 2003 Grace receives a diagnosis of advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Connie is thrown into despair and confusion. Grace has been her pillar, a mother figure and a close friend and the fear of watching Grace lose her ability to communicate and care for herself frightens Connie. Connie’s relationship with Grace changes from that of a friend to primary caregiver and through trial and error and often humourous situations, she learns that despite the frustration and helplessness she feels, there are still plenty of unexpected happy and funny moments they share together..What I learned from Connie and Grace’s story is that in some situations, unpredictability and loss of control might leave us feeling helpless and frustrated. We can’t do everything by ourselves so by accepting assistance and support we are able to navigate through unsure waters with more confidence. Although not a guide to treating Alzheimer’s patients, this account gives us insight into some of the situations we may encounter with a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    2019-05-03 03:17

    I’m always interested in reading about caregivers – having been one for a brief period, and knowing how challenging it can be. Having a few friends online and offline who are caring for family suffering with Alzheimer’s, I found The Stages of Grace particularly interesting to read.I loved the authenticity of this memoir that brings out the beautiful relationship between the author and her mother-in-law, Grace. Care givers can learn much from the insights shared, and the author’s journey from fear to acceptance.By sharing her own emotions, how she struggled to deal with this disease and her fears and care giving mistakes she made, Connie Ruben has made this book relatable and inspiring.Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the author.