Love Triumphs Over Illness in Mary Hogan’s ‘Left’ [REVIEW]


When love is the last memory, a little fantasy can go a long way. (Photo by mrhayata, Flickr)

A dream vacation becomes a surreal moment in time when everything one woman knows about her husband begins to unravel as their relationship begins its descent into frightening new territory. How will she cope? And can their marriage survive? Find out in Mary Hogan’s beautiful, thought-provoking new novel, Left: A Love Story. 

Mary Hogan's LEFT

William Morrow

Judge Paul Agarra and his wife Fay enjoy all the social niceties that come with his profession. However, one day during what should have been a trip of a lifetime to Spain, everything changes when Paul leaves Fay in front of a hotel and drives to the airport. Upset but determined, Fay waits for him to return.

The police get involved and eventually take her to the airport where she finds Paul, who acts as though nothing is wrong and has the nerve to ask her, “Why wouldn’t you know this is where I would be?” Thus begins Fay’s foray into the unknown as she learns to navigate the world of dementia. It is a journey she must take alone, as both Paul’s son and his doctor are too busy to delve deeply into what is happening.

Hogan relates this couple’s unique story with poignant prose that captures the essence of their love and devotion, such as this beautiful passage:

Little by little, Paul left me… The trajectory of his decline resembled the stock market chart from the seventies. Brief pops of hope. Ultimately, though, I learned to join Paul in his reality, instead of wishing, praying, begging God…in the hopes he would return to mine.

Throughout this novel, Hogan deftly demonstrates what it means to assist a mate with a debilitating disease in which the person slowly slips away from our grasp. In so doing, she raises introspective questions for all of us: What would I do? Could I handle caring for a mate in this way? Yet the answers will only be found when we find ourselves caught in this very situation. Hopefully, we will find within ourselves the same grace Fay has when this happens.

Thoughtful in word choice, tender in emotion and steeped in realism, Mary Hogan’s Left is a novel not only about dementia, but about the vitality of the human spirit and the awesome power of love.

Mary Hogan

Mary Hogan
(Photo by Mark Bennington)


Mary Hogan is the bestselling author of Two Sisters and the historical novel, The Woman in the PhotoPrevious novels include the young adult titles, The Serious KissPerfect Girl and Pretty Face (HarperCollins).

Mary lives in New York City with her husband, actor Robert Hogan, and their Catahoula Leopard rescue dog, Lucy. Visit her home on the Web at, find her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

By Mary Hogan
256 pgs. William Morrow. $15.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase Left at one of these fine online retailers: HarperCollins, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and IndieBound.

Left is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

2 Responses to Love Triumphs Over Illness in Mary Hogan’s ‘Left’ [REVIEW]

  1. These are the kind of books that really make me think – I hope that I would handle a similar situation in a positive way, but you just never know until you’re actually in it.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  2. Pingback: Mary Hogan, author of Left, on tour June 2018 | TLC Book Tours

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