A moving account of one woman's journey into the realm of her mother's dementia.
When her mother, Rosa, begins to show signs of Alzheimer's, Caterina Edwards embarks on a complex journey-all at once geographical, intellectual, and emotional-that turns out to be a journey in search of the past and of home.
As Rosa loses her memory and her sense of herself, Edwards travels to Istria, now part of Croatia, to get at the truth of her mother's past. There she discovers the suppressed history of Istria-the ethnic cleansing of her mother's people-and uncovers Rosa's personal losses-her family's exile, her father's mysterious death, and the roots of her own sense of never belonging.
Caught in that ever-growing "sandwich generation" of women caring for both their own children and ailing, aging parents, Edwards balances the demands of raising teenage daughters with the pressures of dealing with her deteriorating mother. During the four years that Edwards cares for her mother, she must also deal with her mother's confusion, hostility, paranoia, and fear, as well as her own physical and emotional exhaustion. Through this journey, Edwards braves an area of darkness with and for her mother and finally comes to know who her mother was.
"Edwards had produced a competent, engaging, even a (historically speaking) groundbreaking work."
"Caterina gives us her experiences in an openly honest portrayal of the frustrations she encounters. In finding her mother she is also finding herself."
"Finding Rosa is a compelling work by a skilled writer who draws the reader along on two intensely personal journeys: Rosa's and her own."
"Finding Rosa...is a funny, searching, honest, and deeply compassionate book. Anyone who has ever cared for an aging relative or a challenging child (or both), anyone who has ever felt burdened by the demands of the caregiver role will sympathize with Edwards' predicament."
"Finding Rosa is a fascinating story of two journeys. The first is Rosa's, as Alzheimer's disease leads this ageing woman deep into the netherworld of fear, confusion and loneliness. The second journey belongs to her daughter, Edmonton author Caterina Edwards, as she tries to cope with her mother's decline by delving into Rosa's mysterious and troubled past."