Jan’s Story – A Book Review

Jan’s Story

By: Barry Peterson

Behler Publications, LLC

Lake Forest, California

978-1933016443, $ 15.95, 2010, 206 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake, richard330@yahoo.com


The Devastating Effect of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease


Award winning news correspondent Barry Petersen tells “Jan’s Story” and of their journey together in a story of excitement, passion, and of love lost to the long goodbye of Alzheimer’s. Step by step and chapter by chapter he takes the reader through Jan’s journey into each of the “Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.”


Petersen is open and candid in talking about his feelings of devastation, anger and grief as the brain altering disease Early Onset Alzheimer’s takes control and dominates every area of life in a downward spiral unpredictable and all consuming. He tells of the private agony of loneliness, overwhelming feelings of depression, and the ongoing battle with exhaustion.


The pages are filled with personal experiences, correspondence with family and friends, advice from medical professionals, fellow travelers, and well-meaning acquaintances. In this dramatic story Peterson provides the reader valuable information and helpful hints for fellow travelers on their journey with Alzheimer’s.


I personal gained:


  • New perspectives on the reality of day to day life and the growing sense of loss, a sense of discovery into the little windows of the Disease and the realization of being increasingly alone.
  • Help to cope with the sense of isolation, loneliness, denial and the delusion of normalcy or improvement.
  • The dangers of ignoring a growing awareness of the results of Caregiver stress.
  • How to deal with times when it seems that all dreams are ending.
  • The relief of distraction.
  • And the realization that I am not alone in this journey.


There were times in my reading when my tears blurred the print or when I just stopped reading to reflect on our own journey with Alzheimer’s. Reflective moments recalling cherished memories of those days that pre-date the realization that building memories for “us” was in reality building memories for me.


Resource suggestions and discussion questions are provided for further reading, personal contemplation or for group discussion, ideal for use in a reader’s or support group.


A beautiful story, of love, trauma, renewal, and hope.

Jans Story

Get Your Joy Back – Banishing Resentment and Reclaiming Confidence in Your Special Needs Family – A Book Review

Get Your Joy BackGet Your Joy Back – Banishing Resentment and Reclaiming Confidence in Your Special Needs Family

By: Laurie Wallin

Kregel Publications

2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE,

Grand Rapids, MI 49505

978-0825443398, 2015, 175 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake, richard330@yahoo.com

Help for Parents of Special Needs Children

Laurie Wallin knows from personal experience the challenges faced by families with special need kids. “Get Your Joy Back” is her story.Wallin is candid and transparent; willing to be honest and expose her own vulnerabilities when she talks of the reality of parenting special needs children. She discusses the issues of resentment, the intensity of multi-tasking and the impact of this on siblings and other family members.

The subtitle “– Banishing Resentment and Reclaiming Confidence in Your Special Needs Family” is a commitment to the reader to offer helpful guidelines and encouragement.Wallin delivers on this promise through the use of:

  • Probing Introspective Suggestions for self-examination with guidelines and exercises for taking steps to optimize your strengths
  • A concept for allowing yourself to make room for God sized dreams
  • A reader friendly format with helpful subtitles for quick review, and assimilation
  • Chapter Notes and Resource Lists
  • Next Step Ideas for Application

Practical themes covered in the fifteen chapters of the book include: Forgiveness of yourself, your child, your spouse, your extended family, the professionals, the church and community, and forgiving God.

Wallin is a gifted communicator, a professional life coach with a passionate heart, is empathetic with her readership and knowledgeable in the area of special needs parenting.

A complimentary copy of the book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.