I loved Amy Sorrels first book, How Sweet the Sound, but sometimes that sophomore book… well simply they can sometimes prove to be a bit disappointing. Then Sings my Soul proved I had nothing to worry about. The story bounces between 1994 and the early 1900’s in and around the Ukraine and then on to America. Amy does a great job of making sure you understand which story line you are following and yet through her efforts you get a small feel what it is like to struggle with Dementia.
I believe I have mentioned it before, my mother was diagnosed a few years ago with Front Lobe Dementia, so that made that part of the book a bit difficult to read. Then again she captured the emotions of both the daughter and father as this becomes part of their lives.
Nel returns to home after her mother passes to find her father looking and acting older than she expected. He suffers not only from Dementia, which her mother hid from Nel, but also arthritis in the hip. Nel is shocked how much her father has deteriorated since she was home 2 years ago and she begins to regret the time away.
Jakob is lost in a world that is getting harder and harder to remember. He struggles with what is present and what is the past and his past is a terrifying place to be. He and his older brother escaped with their lives from the genocide that happened in his home land of Ukraine. As the lines blur more and more for Jakob, Nel starts listening to his stories and learning more of her family story.
Sometimes hard to read because it is a story about a man losing himself to old age and a horrible disease, Then Sings My Soul is a reminder that you can’t go back and reclaim those years you let slip through your fingers. Nel spends a lot of the book coming to terms with the time she lost. I don’t want to tell you why as it is her story to share, but it was a good reminder for me to spend time with my mom now while I can.
As hard as this was to read, it was an interesting read. Not only was the storyline a good one, but one of the settings is in South Haven, MI which made it fun to read. I usually spent much of the book trying to figure out if I know the places being mentioned. If you are looking for a book with more meat than fluff, this is a good place to start.