BOOK REVIEW: “A Giraffe in the Room” by Denise Kawaii

“A Giraffe in the Room” is a poignant tale of an aging man that tells its story simply and beautifully. Exploring the loss of memory and capability from within, through the eyes of the person living it, Denise Kawaii writes with insight and compassion. Memories of the early years are the framework and lifeline for Stanley as he goes from one confused scene to the next in a lonely, distressing dream that never ends. The reader knows only what he knows. The author captures the impression made by nursing staff instructions particularly well. I found myself trying to decipher it much the same way Stanley did.

The old man repeats to himself the same reassurances he once shared with his daughter, making a connection between the shadows of the past and the stark reality of the present. The words become more meaningful as the story progresses and in the end, the reader may find it comforting, as well.

Kawaii reaches out to the reader as an equal, offering a new measure of understanding to those who want to go beyond just processing their own loss of someone they care about.

Individuals matter, their lives, dreams and thoughts, have value, even when they can’t share them.

If you are going through a season where someone you care about is loosing brain function, this book will be a comfort. 

Suzanne Hagelin

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