Thrust into the Syrian desert by the Ottoman Turks, young Elise and her mother survived the 1915 Armenian death march. Twenty years later, her new life in America is more than she could ever have dreamed possible. The dream ends when her husband Leon dies and she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She has spent her entire adult life filling the woman’s role she was taught to in Syria—cooked, cleaned, prayed, and looked after her three children. But she never learned how to drive a car or manage a bank account. Leon saved enough for her to get by after his death. But he didn’t think their lawyer son would turn his eye to those meager savings. Elise’s advancing dementia dimmed her awareness of the family strife swirling around her that would mark the last five years of her life. Elise’s daughter offers a close-up view here of helping a dependent mother from a thousand miles away.

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