When Sheen resident Robyn Hollingworth’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of only 60, she was in her mid-20s and living the London dream – working as a fashion buyer for Liberty by day and drinking with her mates by night. After making the agonising decision to put her city life on hold, Robyn packed up her stuff and headed back to her small home town in South Wales to help care for him.
My Mad Dad: The Diary of an Unravelling Mind is Robyn Hollingworth’s heartbreaking and hilarious memoir about the transition she made from carefree to carer. In the book published last week she recounts how her fiercely intelligent father, a former civil engineer, began to slowly lose his grip on reality: hand saluting strangers, getting lost on his way home from the pub and, on one occasion, donning his wife’s purple, sparkly, Pat Butcher-style cardigan to pop to the shops for a lottery ticket.
My Mad Dad will resonate with anyone who has cared for a seriously ill relative and anyone who is part of a tight-knit family unit that, when push comes to shove, will always come first…
My Mad Dad is available from your local independent bookshop Sheen Bookshop, as well as larger retailers.