The Long Hello by Cathie Borrie has been sitting in my Kindle library for a while. I can’t remember if this was a free pick from Amazon Prime or if I got it for free or cheap from a BookBub e-mail. But, I remember getting excited about the premise and snagging it immediately. And then never reading it for some reason. This book is technically outside my focus for the year (reading every book on my bookshelf). However, next time you find yourself at the gym without your headphones, I think you’ll understand why I downloaded this book to my phone and made the best of a music or podcast free workout. 😉
The Long Hello is not your typical “caring for your mom with Alzheimer’s” story. In it, Borrie shares a collection of conversations she had with her mom as the disease progressed alongside memories from her childhood. Together, they create an unusual, yet beautifully tragic story. You get a look into Borrie’s struggles as she works to be there for her mom and care for her and the toll it takes on Borrie. You become a fly on the wall for their conversations, as fractured and repetitive as they are, with one of the parties suffering from Alzheimer’s. You listen in on Borrie’s childhood, her memories, the trials, the struggles, and the joys. You learn who Hughie is, and what happened to him. You see the darker side to redemptive second marriages. You see the painful joy found in caring for your aging mother as you yourself age.
The Long Hello is atypical in every way. Borrie does not mince words or try to clean up her experiences while her mother suffered from Alzheimer’s. It is honest, raw, and real. It does not make the horror Alzheimer’s sickly sweet and beautiful, and in this way, The Long Hello is beautiful. I was drawn in by the fractured words and rambling conversations. I felt the emotions Borrie felt as she shared her story. And I finished this book in one day.
The Long Hello by Cathie Borrie gets 4/5 stars.