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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Andrea Collins meets Lans Mulder when she is fourteen years old. She is staying on her grandparents' farm when Lans' family arrive from the Netherlands. Andrea and Lans find that they enjoy being together, riding horses across her grandparents' vast land. Lans even loves it when Andrea tricks him with a kayak ride, not telling him how to paddle the kayak. They marry years later in one of the fields of daisies, Andrea wearing a wreath of them in her hair. They have a wonderful marriage and are parents to two children, John and Kate. Lans's mother Katherine and Andrea become instant friends but Andrea's mother, Evelyn Collins, socialite and party organizer, is another matter. Andrea loves her mother's parents but when years pass and those beloved grandparents and her own father pass away, she is left with Evelyn. And Evelyn has developed Alzheimer's, a disease she has inherited from her father, Andrea's beloved grandfather. Evelyn displays typical Alzheimer's symptoms and Andrea finds her life now absorbed with dealing with Evelyn's illness and the fact that she herself is diagnosed as a potential for this degenerative disease. Lans becomes distant as Andrea is drawn into caring for her mother. Will they ever get back the beautiful time they shared together years before?
"Field of Daisies" by Barbara Hattemer is a charming love story and a tribute to families living with the degenerative effects of inherited Alzheimer's. Andrea, Lans, Andrea's beloved grandparents Fritz and Laura Klinghof, and especially her mother Evelyn are all realistic characters. Evelyn's descent into the difficulty of Alzheimer's is portrayed well and Andrea's finding Adele, a caregiver who can deal with an Alzheimer's patient, is quite true to life. "Field of Daisies" is a book that readers will want to read as it tells of a couple's love being tested as they struggle with a close relative's affliction with a disease that only worsens.