So often we, and I mean the royal we, society, government, policy makers, assessors, family, children, parents – we – try hard to fit people with Alzheimers into the world they’ve always lived in. As a species, we aren’t adaptable. We like to think that we are, and we proudly say that we are. But we’re just not built to sustain dramatic change. We’re only human after all. We are going to always respond emotionally, to dramatic change. But what if our responses could mould to the new circumstances that we find ourselves in? What if, instead of trying hard to fit Enid into the world as she grows older and changes, we fit the world to her?

There’s lots to take from Tiny Pieces of Enid and I believe that this is the sort of book that will inspire different messaging and discussion depending on your lived experience, secondary experience, and knowledge of the topics. But this truly is a book that spans generations and will inspire those with a ‘Nanny Enid’ and those who are older, and those in between. Most of all, I feel that this should be recommended reading for all social care workers, social workers, assessors, policy makers and beyond.

As a book club choice this was a brave one but a firm decision. Books about Alzheimers, about aging, about trauma, abuse, about the love stories that are woven around getting older and changing, are hard to read. But Tim Ewins does the almost impossible. He gently takes us through the chapters of Enid and Olivia’s stories with love, honesty and humour. It could almost have been written in the first person, from personal experience.

Tim explores the reasons why people might do what they do, all the while taking us back in time to Enid’s history, the family history, and then bringing us back to the present with a mix of pragmatism and humour. This book is desperately sad in places, but I finished it with the biggest smile on my face. And I was reminded of Mary Oliver’s poem and specifically, the quote, ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do. With your one wild and precious life?’

About the Book

Enid isn’t clear about much these days. But she does feel a strong affinity with Olivia, a regular visitor to her dementia home in a small coastal town. If only she could put her finger on why.

Their silent partnership intensifies when Enid, hoping to reconnect with her husband Roy, escapes from the home. With help from an imaginary macaw, she uncovers some uncomfortable truths about Olivia’s marriage and delves into her own forgotten past.

A deeply touching story of love, age and companionship, evoking the unnoticed everyday moments that can mean the world to the people living them, Tim Ewins’ second novel will delight fans of his acclaimed debut, We Are Animals.

About The Author

Alongside his accidental career in finance, Tim Ewins performed in stand-up comedy for eight years. He also had a very brief acting stint (he’s in the film Bronson, somewhere in the background) before turning to writing fiction.

His first novel, We Are Animals, was published by Lightning Books in 2021.

He lives with his wife, son and dog near Bristol.

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