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Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite
Learning to Float by Allan Ament is a beautiful and insightful memoir about the author’s experiences as a caregiver to his wife after she experiences a stroke. Deloris, Allan’s wife of eighteen years, suffered a stroke in 2005. The memoir chronicles the challenges of turning from husband to carer. Allan has to learn to adapt to all the changes in his life, as well as the limitations his wife has to deal with. Although Deloris recovers moderately well, she is left unable to do many of the things she once did. One of the most poignant parts of the memoir was where he heard from a friend that Deloris’s brain had reverted to almost a two-year-old state. She had to relearn a lot of things she once did with ease.
I really loved Mr. Ament’s writing style. He almost has to go on his own journey of self-discovery and understanding of his wife’s new lifestyle and needs. He doesn’t shy away from discussing his difficult moments, especially where he loses his temper with Deloris. Mr. Ament does not hold back for the sake of the reader. He’s completely open and candid about his experiences. I found him to be a very astute individual, with a great emotional capacity. I would highly recommend this book for anyone with a family member or close friend who has experienced a stroke. Learning to Float by Allan Ament will make you laugh and cry, but most of all, have a deeper understanding and respect for those caring for family members with medical needs.