Kirkus Book Review

Hanley tells the story of her mother’s dementia and her parents’ love in this affecting memoir.

Bernadette McDonough was heading to the beauty parlor when she forgot where she was. Peter, her husband of almost 55 years, found her walking aimlessly. Following a series of examinations, Bernadette was diagnosed with vascular dementia. The family watched her cognition decline; she struggled to remember what month it was. The author chronicles her parents’ courtship in 1940s Manhattan and marriage, detailing Peter’s grand romantic gestures, like placing a boulder outside their home into which he inscribed: “Come live with me, the best is yet to be.” At breakfast, he wrote poetry for his wife on a napkin. After Peter died, these simple, affectionate poems became a rare source of pleasure for Bernadette in her dementia; one reads: “THOUGH TIME / GOES FAST / AND PROBLEMS / COME TOO / MY LOVE / WILL LAST / AND ONLY / FOR YOU.” Illustrated with Peter’s napkin poems and family photographs, the memoir pays tribute to a couple’s enduring affection. Hanley’s depiction of caregiving will be recognizable to readers who’ve adopted similar roles; she likens herself to a sports spectator observing a competitive match between dementia and love: “Dementia had won the blue-ribbon prize physically—but my dad’s love, in poetic words, had beaten dementia at its own, unfair game.”

– Kirkus Reviews

Upcoming Events

 January 15, 8 am, Bill Keeler Radio Talk Show author interview with Kate. Happy to share time with Bill Keeler and his team at WIBX! Scroll down to listen to the interview!

January 15, 5:30pm, NBC News Channel 2 WKTV, newstalk author interview with Kate. 

• January 22, 6pm, JCC Utica, NY Author Talk and Book Signing.  

Exciting News

Breakfast Memories now available on E-Book through Amazon

Interviews and Podcasts

Let’s Talk Dementia is dedicated to the education of dementia for exhausted caregivers and offers free dementia education and support.  Listen to Breakfast Memories A Dementia Love Story podcast with Carol Howell, Senior Life broadcast on October 30, 2019. 

Bill Keeler Show had local author on the morning of January 15, 2020 to talk about her new book on dementia. Her name is Kate Hanley Cominski and she’s written about her experience with her mother’s dementia. Keeler in the Morning.