‘Matchstick Man’ is a frank, intensely honest and beautifully written memoir in which novelist Julia Kelly writes about her partner Charlie Whisker’s disintegration into a world of confusion as Alzheimer’s takes control of his once sharp and brilliant mind.
Julia Kelly met a charismatic and successful artist, Charlie Whisker, while she was working on her first novel. He was twenty years older than her. Their relationship was passionate and extraordinary; each of them inspired the other. Their friends were writers, artists and rock stars; they lived a glamorous life of exhibitions, parties and concerts. They became parents to a daughter they adored. But Charlie suddenly changed, becoming hopelessly forgetful, angry and confused.
This is an unbearably honest, unsentimental and heartbreaking description of a brilliant man's mental disintegration and its effects on his family. Charlie's disturbing behaviour is described in a series of terrible, understated revelations. An unforgettable telling of a story that will be familiar to many thousands of people in the UK and Ireland.
Sinéad Moriarty discusses why 'Matchstick Man' is one of her 'Must Reads'.
This is an intensely honest and at times, almost painful to read memoir by Irish novelist Julia Kelly. Julia writes with a complete lack of sentimentality about her partner, successful Irish artist Charlie Whisker’s disintegration into a world of confusion, distress and amnesia as Alzheimer’s takes control of his once sharp and brilliant mind. This book doesn’t shy away from the devastating affect that this disease has on their relationship and on their young daughter.
Julia doesn’t hide any of the pain or destruction that the breakdown of her once beloved Charlie has on her life. She is open about the guilt, pain, heartbreak, anger and depression that go hand in hand when you are dealing with the disintegration of a loved one. We are taken back to the day they met and walked though their initial love story, through the happier times and into the darkness at it descends. A beautifully written, achingly honest memoir that stayed with me long after I finished it.
Watch Julia Kelly read an extract from her intensely honest and deeply moving memoir ‘Matchstick Man’ - exclusively for Eason.
Julia Kelly studied English, Sociology and Journalism in Dublin and worked in publishing in London for six years. She is the award-winning writer of several novels including With My Lazy Eye, which was nominated for Book of the Decade by the Irish Book Awards, and The Playground. This is her first work of non-fiction.
Buy her book today online or in-store.