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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Mary & Me by Robyn Cotton

Mary & Me is a page-turning read about two women with Parkinson's Disease living two hundred years apart. James Parkinson is a medical practitioner living in London in 1810 when he first sees Mary at the Hoxton marketplace. She is obviously struggling with a terrible affliction that causes her hands and body to tremble and for her to struggle with her balance. The doctor is filled with compassion when he learns this woman has been thrown out of her family home, rejected by her husband and children, and now she lives in a poor house, despised by those around her who fear she is possessed by a demon.

Rose lives in the twenty-first century, and her story could not be more different when she is diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. While still a shocking illness, especially because Rose is so young, she immediately has the support of her family and her doctors, with drugs to help with the symptoms and strategies for living with this illness.

Mary & Me is inspired by the author's experience living with Parkinson's, which adds so much honesty and integrity to the story. Mary & Me is a well-written book that is moving and inspirational. It will resonate particularly well with anyone who knows someone with Parkinson's Disease – but it is also a novel for any reader, with characters to care for and a beautifully structured story. I would highly recommend this excellent novel.

Note all the proceeds go to Parkinson's NZ.

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