Together Through Korea and Alzheimer's

Non-Fiction - Memoir
342 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2016
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Author Biography

Bereft when her husband died, Joyce Sorensen unearthed and reread his 1950s love letters from Korea. She felt compelled to write a memoir in his honor and serendipitously found a pathway that eased her grief. Retired from a social work practice where her writing could have been found on medical charts, she discovered her passion for writing. She lives in Litchfield Park, AZ.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite

Together Through Korea and Alzheimer's by author Joyce Sorensen is a beautiful retelling of the loving relationship between the author and her husband Dick, through joys and triumphs as well as fear and grief. Joyce and Dick fell in love at just sixteen years old, even though they came from families with vastly different beliefs. They marry at nineteen, and soon afterwards, Dick is sent to Korea, while Joyce and their baby daughter return to live with her parents under difficult circumstances. The story continues to follow the couple's lives and relationship all the way through Dick's eventual diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease and his death. The couple experience a great gift at the end of Dick's life, and he is able to communicate with Joyce in a moving and special way that will bring readers to tears and provide faith in the power of love.

I very much enjoyed Together Through Korea and Alzheimer's. Author Joyce Sorensen has shared a very personal and emotional story in a beautiful way that her readers will be able to connect with and relate to. The Sorensens' story is one that shows the beauty of a relationship that has overcome many trials and tribulations with love, support and grace. Any reader who loves a story that takes place through an interesting period of time (the Korean War) and deals with issues that many families face, or a reader just looking for a great love story in general, would enjoy this book. I highly recommend it to such readers, and hope that we might get to read more from author Joyce Sorensen in the future.

Maria Beltran

Joyce Sorensen’s memoir, Together Through Korea and Alzheimer's, is a tribute to her husband Richard Gale Sorensen whom she lovingly calls Dickie. The couple met in 1949 when they both attended Willamette High. Dickie and Joyce came from completely different backgrounds. Dickie was a popular student and he carried on a more than friendly relationship with Joyce that left her confused. After a few tentative steps, the relationship blossomed - despite the difficulties that Joyce’s mother placed between them. Married at nineteen, with the Korean War raging in Asia, Joyce and Dickie were determined to stay together. When Dickie was drafted by the US Military, the young couple already had Karen, their first child. Joyce had to go back to her parents’ home while Dickie was thousands of miles away with only letters and occasional phone calls to keep them together.

Together Through Korea and Alzheimer’s is a book that relates the intimate relationship of high school sweethearts Dick and Joyce Sorensen. They got married at nineteen and stayed devoted to each other until Dick’s bout with Alzheimer’s and his eventual death. Joyce Sorensen looks back on a life with a man who has proven to be her soul mate. At a time when the divorce rate is at its highest level worldwide, theirs is an uplifting love story. It is beautiful proof that love endures. The story is pieced together through the various letters they exchanged when Dick was involved in the Korean War. More than anything else, these letters are the most revealing of their innermost thoughts and feelings. Separated and facing life’s ugly uncertainties, their bond becomes even stronger and this is perhaps the greatest lesson we get from this novel - that real love can conquer anything life brings us.

Tracy Slowiak

In a tender, sweet and truly heartfelt true life story, Together Through Korea and Alzheimer's by author Joyce Sorensen is a book that no doubt will touch its readers in a profound way. Recounting the lives and love of Dick and Joyce Sorensen, from the time they meet and fall in love at the tender age of sixteen, against the objections of their families, to Dick's deployment to Korea, and all the way through to the end of Dick's life, when he and the family as a whole deal with his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, this story shares the couple's adventures, happiness, tenderness and grief in such a compelling way that readers will have a hard time putting the book down once they've started it.

I loved Together Through Korea and Alzheimer's. Loved. It. How's that for a review? This lovely story touched my heart from the very start, made me laugh at times, and brought me to tears at others. Author Joyce Sorensen's honest portrayal of her life with her husband Dick, from their youth all the way through the end of his life, is a tribute to both of them, and provides a wonderful example of the power of love through difficult times. Any reader who is looking for a wonderful real life love story should absolutely read Together Through Korea and Alzheimer's. I highly recommend this book, and thank author Joyce Sorensen for her willingness to share this very personal and beautiful story with her readers.