By Kathryn Smaw Amerson



When a person has reached the age of 95, there have been so many beginnings. There is the beginning of school, the beginning of a career, the beginning of a family, the beginning of retirement, and the beginning of the end.

Yesterday, Elizabeth Duke was a brilliant teacher. Today, she has been diagnosed with dementia. Yesterday, everyone sought her wisdom and her company. Today is the beginning of the end. Anne Rutledge is the great-niece of “Aunt Bette.” She and her young family share the Southern homeplace with Aunt Bette. Now Anne must become the caregiver for her great-aunt while attempting to continue a career and rear a family. Through the unending frustrations of doctors, home care nurses and nursing home employees, Anne comes to understand the truth about aging: Society cares about citizens as long as they are productive.  Aunt Bette’s life has become a glaze; yet in her moments of lucidity, her brilliance and color are illuminated.


3 thoughts on “By Kathryn Smaw Amerson

  1. Jennifer

    I can’t wait to read this book! Anyone who has lived through the caretaker role will be interested. I, by virtue of knowing the author, am ecstatic! You rock, Kate!

  2. Mary Smaw

    This book was written from the heart. Only someone who lived it could have written with such clarity. Get a box of kleenex ready – you’ll need it! GREAT BOOK! I couldn’t put it down.

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