Book Club Kit: The Family on Beartown Road

The Family on Beartown RoadThe Family on Beartown Road: A Memoir of Love and Courage*
by Elizabeth Cohen
First Published: 2003
5 Copies & Reading Guide

Soon after her daughter’s first birthday, Elizabeth Cohen’s husband walked out of their rambling old house in the country, leaving her to come to terms with his absence and her new role as carer to a growing, demanding child, and a shrinking, demanding father. Elizabeth has no choice but to be the rock at the centre of her new, unusual family. Amidst the chaos of the house on Beartown Road, she discovers a new beauty in being in the middle of two universal stages of life and learning. She watches the growth of her baby Ava, hungrily learning about the world around her, and at the other extreme her father, trying to hold on to the fragments of his memory, fighting a losing battle against forgetting, but despite it all, capable of learning. And she begins to learn about herself, as someone who is strong, courageous and capable of looking after her family.
*Originally published as The House on Beartown Road: A Memoir of Learning and Forgetting.

Reading Guide:
Barnes & Noble – Includes Review, Excerpt, and Discussion Questions
Story Circle Network – Includes Story Circle’s Discussion Questions

Kirkus Reviews – “The House on Beartown Road
The New York Times – “Filling the Room with Hurricanes” by Maggie Jones

Elizabeth Cohen’s Official Website:

More about Alzheimer’s Disease:
Alzheimer’s Association –
Wikipedia – Includes images and further resources
National Institute on Aging – Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet
Mayo Clinic – “Alzheimer’s Disease” by Mayo Clinic Staff

If you enjoyed The Family on Beartown Road, you might like:
Still Alice (Book Club Kit) by Lisa Genova
The Story of My Father: A Memoir by Sue Miller
The Middle Place (Book Club Kit) by Kelly Corrigan
Eat Pray Love (Book Club Kit) by Elizabeth Gilbert


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