“Very moving and beautifully done” (John Bayley).
“A brave and unsentimental book” (Diana Athill).
When Jonathan Taylor was eight, he began to find his father puzzling. The first thing that happened was that his father couldn’t remember Jonathan’s sister’s name. Then he began to shake, to drive badly, to forget who or where he was, and to mistake his son for someone else entirely. “Help help help,” his father would say, on and on, but there seemed to be no helping him. Doctors diagnosed Parkinson’s disease and an associated form of dementia, and Jonathan gradually became one of his father’s carers, taking it in turn with his family to look after him for the next thirteen years.
Take Me Home is the story of a son’s struggle for recognition from a father who is being transformed mentally and physically by a ruinous disease, and a writer’s struggle to discover a father’s strange and largely secret past – who he was before he became a disappointed headmaster in Stoke-on-Trent and, at the last, a trembling Parkinsonian who sometimes mistook his son for Humphrey Bogart or a giraffe.
You can read more about Take Me Home at Granta Books.
You can read excerpts published in The Guardian Family Supplement.
You can buy Take Me Home here.
Some reviews of Take Me Home:
Michele Hanson in The Guardian: “Riveting, detailed, moving account of his father’s Parkinson’s, mysterious past, and his own response to it.”
Nick Rennison in The Sunday Times: “Taylor’s account … turns its back on the clichés of the genre to which it seems initially to belong …. Instead, there is black comedy to be extracted from the story …. Taylor’s willingness to acknowledge this makes all the more poignant his attempts to reconstruct the father lost beneath the disease.”
Brian Dillon in The Irish Times: “affecting and erudite memoir … startlingly acute.”
Carol Birch in The Times Literary Supplement: “Taylor acheives a heartfelt yet unsentimental memoir that is also a reconciliation.”
Olivia Laing in The Guardian: “It … stands as a fine testimonial to man whose life was a mystery.”
The Good Book Guide: “… dazzling memoir.”
Wayne Burrows in Staple: “Take Me Home is a beautifully constructed and often profound piece of work.”
Indian Book Reviews: ” … brilliantly crafted lines … humour-filled sentences … a book that’s engrossing, endearing and definitely engaging.”
David Morley: “A lovely and crafted account … very moving.”
Publishing News: “Taylor shows his own state of mind, the exasperation, anger and boredom – mixed with love – something any carer must experience, rarely acknowledged.”
The Parkinson: “Jonathan Taylor has crafted his harrowing tale with elegance and edgy humour.”
Danuta Lipinska in Living With Dementia: “The book is written in a style that is easy, conversational, sometimes humorous, irreverent and often poignant.”
Carol Ross Williamson in The Record, Canada: “The despairing world of Parkinson’s and dementia … is poignantly explored in this book.”
Kirkus Reviews: “unsentimental … frank.”
Paul Kent on Oneword Radio: “wonderful … heartbreaking.”
Michael W. Thomas in Raw Edge Magazine: “With delicacy and compassion, Taylor records how his father’s decline affected him and his family …. Taylor’s prose has a sureness about it …. This is life-writing in the most genuine sense.”
Madeline Armstrong, For Dementia: “beautifully written … sad … funny … intriguing … educational.”
Bridget McCall in E.P.D.A. Plus: “ … a deeply personal account …. Although parts of the book are disturbing, there’s a lot of humour and Taylor’s love for his father … is evident on every page.”
Cyprus Mail: “ … heartbreakingly honest.”
Editor’s Choice in The Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 2007.
Editor’s Choice in Hot Type column, Ottawa Citizen, 2007.
Book recommendation by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Carers UK and the Princess Royal Carers Trust.