No matter what Hanna said, her father was certain that if he could keep her mother to a daily schedule and maintain regularity in her life it would be possible to stop the downward spiral of memory loss and disorientation.
MY 5-STAR REVIEW OF “TIME TO LET GO” by Christoph Fischer.
Those who are familiar with Christoph Fischer’s work will not be surprised that his new book, A Time To Let Go, is another poignant, thoughtful, and engrossing examination of that most complex structure, the family. The flame of kinship draws each member closer in desperate need of its warmth, even though getting too close can be devastating and sometimes dangerous.
Time To Let Go is a contemporary novel set in England and its protagonist is Hanna, a career flight attendant, who finds herself on an indefinite leave of absence due to an in-flight incident not of her making. To escape the scrutiny of the press, Hanna spends time with her parents, but it’s like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.
Comfortably retired now, Hannah’s dad Walter has always prided himself in leading an ordered, disciplined life. And he has always been, and still is, deeply in love with his wife Biddy. But he’s losing her, bit by bit, day by day, to Alzheimer’s. Try as he might, and boy does he try, he can’t control this. The family thinks its time to put Biddy in a supervised care facility and they try to convince Walter that it’s time to let go. Walter adamantly refuses.
It is against this scenario that Hannah must reevaluate her life. Her job of hopping around the globe has made it near impossible to develop and maintain longterm romantic relationships. Now it seems she is being forced to make decisions, both with her career and her family, and she’s not happy about being put in this position.
Hannah is a character that we grow to love and root for. Fischer does not throw her at us. He draws us into her life and plight in small bites that become increasingly irresistible. She’s painfully real, just like us.
If you are a ‘senior’ like me, the prospect of developing Alzheimer’s is both frightening and haunting; what are we besides our minds? If you’re younger and see loved ones embarking on that misty and ever darkening path, it’s frightening in other ways, especially if you’re the designated caregiver.
In the hands of a less gifted writer than Mr. Fischer, this story could become morose and brittle. It is neither. Instead, this achingly beautiful swan song is honest, poignant, and ultimately uplifting. It reminds us, in his trademark style, that a strong spirit always trumps mortal flesh.
I highly encourage you to get your copy of Time To Let Go immediately, then lose yourself in a compelling, entertaining, and heartfelt story. You’ll be glad you did.
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he is still resident today. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. “Sebastian” has been released in May 2013. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.