A Beautiful Picture of Family, Friends, Love and Loss: Review of Out of Time by Steve Hawke

A Beautiful Picture of Family, Friends, Love and Loss: Review of Out of Time by Steve Hawke

Joe and Anne are in love. They’re ready for retirement, ready to take holidays with each other and ready to watch their darling grandchildren grow up. They’re going to grow old together. But our story opens with a scene that already sets us on edge. Joe – a gifted architect – has just finished giving a large presentation and is looking for his car to start the drive home. But he can’t remember where he parked it. He wanders around for over an hour, looking for his car, finally coming to the conclusion that someone has stolen it. We soon know better.

Joe steadily loses more of his memory to dementia, trying to hide that fact from his friends and family. He loops back on conversations, repeating himself, and sometimes even talking about conversations he had years earlier as if they were happening right now. His family soon notices that something is wrong, much to Joe’s disappointment. He doesn’t want to be a burden on those the loves, and knows that if he continues to lose parts of his memory he will be.

Told through varying memories of the past and over the course of a few years, we get to know Joe and Anne along with their daughter Claire quite well. We see them go through their own trials. Both Joe and Anne struggle as they want to help their daughter at various times, but know that they need to let her fly the nest and grow up herself. Their joy is your joy, their heartbreak your heartbreak. You see exactly what Joe’s failing health and memory will do to this family.

Out of Time is such a moving and touching story, especially when you know the backstory of the author Steve Hawke. Steve watched his mother Hazel go through the stages of dementia, and you can feel the heartbreak in the words of this book. Reading this story and knowing that background makes it both a hard and worthwhile read. It tugged at my heart, as someone with family members suffering from dementia, and brought home just how valuable our time with them is.

Out of Time is a beautiful picture of family, friends and of love and loss. It poses hard, ethical questions about the quality of life of those suffering from dementia. It weaves its way into your heart and alongside Joe and Anne, you find yourself asking ‘what is the point of no return?’

Buy a copy of Out of Time here

About the Author

Steve Hawke grew up in Melbourne but found his way to the Northern Territory and then to the Kimberley as a nineteen-year-old in 1978. Captivated by the country, the history and the people, he stayed for almost fifteen years working for Aboriginal communities and organisations. He now lives in the hills outside Perth, but continues his strong

association with the Kimberley, returning most years. His writings on the Kimberley include Noonkanbah: Whose Land, Whose Law (1989), the children’s novel Barefoot Kids (2007), the play Jandamarra that premiered at the Perth International Arts Festival in 2008 and toured the Kimberley in 2011, and A Town Is Born: The Fitzroy Crossing Story(2013). The Valley is his first novel for adults.

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                      Publisher details

                      Out Of Time
                      Author
                      Steve Hawke
                      Publisher
                      Fremantle Press
                      Genres
                      Australian Fiction, Fiction
                      Released
                      06 August, 2019

                      Synopsis

                      Joe and Anne’s relationship has finally found the sweet spot and they are looking forward to what retirement brings. But time is not on their side. Inexplicably, Joe  a gifted architect  finds himself losing things, making miscalculations, blanking parts of his day. As Joe’s condition worsens, he and Anne face the agonising question: what is the point of no return?
                      Steve Hawke
                      About the author

                      Steve Hawke

                      Steve Hawke grew up in Melbourne but found his way to the Northern Territory and then to the Kimberley as a nineteen-year-old in 1978. Captivated by the country, the history and the people, he stayed for almost fifteen years working for Aboriginal communities and organisations. He now lives in the hills outside Perth, but continues his strong association with the Kimberley, returning most years. His writings on the Kimberley include Noonkanbah: Whose Land, Whose Law (1989), the children’s novel Barefoot Kids (2007), the play Jandamarra that premiered at the Perth International Arts Festival in 2008 and toured the Kimberley in 2011, and A Town Is Born: The Fitzroy Crossing Story(2013). The Valley is his first novel for adults.

                      Books by Steve Hawke

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