Beside the Mountain:
Finding Strengh and Courage Through My Father's Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease
Beside the Mountain: Finding Strength and Courage Through My Father's Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease is a testament to the strength of family and vows between a husband and a wife. Life, love, family and place are inextricably linked. So too, in this memoir, can the sweetness of life be revealed in even the simplest act of a smile.
Readers of this Beside the Mountain have already responded with praise. As a winner of the Dean's Award for Best Thesis at Emerson College in 2011, judge and writer Greg Orfalea had this to say about Beside the Mountain:
"What makes this memoir of a father's descent into early Alzheimer's…press itself into the reader's soul is not the meticulous care in evoking the stages of this tragic illness and its toll on a family, nor the revelatory cutting of the daughter-author in response to the suffering of her father, nor the rich back and forth between St. Louis and Italy, nor the courageous honesty seen on practically every page, but the love. Plain and heartbreaking, all the way, through everything. Stefania Silvestri is a real writer. I think of D.H. Lawrence's great lines, 'Look! We have come through!'"
Additionally, Pulitzer Prize finalist and professor Megan Marshall wrote this upon completion of Stefania's thesis defense:
"[Stefania has] developed a powerful, almost incantatory narrative voice. It is this insistent, remembering speaker whose words we really wan to keep listening to, who draws us on through a tale that is both unusual and familiar."
Finally, caregiver Suzanne Muelin wrote,
"As a child of a parent who is suffering from Alzheimer's, Stefania has thrown a life preserver to all of us who are drowning in the trials of this disease. We know we are not alone, and that there is hope to surviving and even happiness on the other end of this disease."