Book reviews

Book reviews by Alzheimers New Zealand

The books and articles listed below provide useful information and/or personal experiences of dementia. Each book has been reviewed by a team member of Alzheimers NZ. 

If you have a book you would like to submit for a review, please email

Song for Rosaleen
Pip Desmond
Review by Philippa Fletcher

So much of life is about letting go. This book traces the labyrinthine journeys of Rosaleen the mother, letting go of life via vascular dementia; of Pip the daughter, letting go of the mother she knew; and of Pip the author, letting go of her care partner role as she translates it into the written word. For me, reading the book began as a professional task and ended as a gentle reflection on life itself and its meaning and purpose. Read more.

My Name is Cally
Donna Balthazard-Dube
Review by Maria Nicol

This book resonated with me straight away, even though it’s written from an eight-year-old’s perspective about living with her grandmother who has Alzheimer’s.  Cally’s almost ‘perfect’ life is disrupted when Nana arrives, and the book details her struggle to deal with the impact of her changing situation, and how to cope with Nana’s condition.  Cally has constant ‘butterflies in her stomach’, and her anxiety mounts over what is happening to her family and Nana. Read more.

Green Vanilla Tea
Marie Williams
Review by Fiona Edwards

Green Vanilla Tea tells the true story of Dominic, diagnosed with fronto-temporal dementia and motor neurone disease in his early 40’s. Marie Williams, Dominic’s wife, writes an inspiring and compassionate account of their experience. Like many younger people diagnosed with dementia, Dominic had a career, and two teenage sons living at home. Dominic’s career required him to travel and, at times, present at conferences. Read more.

 Click here for more reviews

Dealing Daily with Dementia by Angela Caughey

Grandma's Box of Memories by Jean Demetris

How We Think About Dementia by Julian Hughes