When Julia Kelly began a relationship with Charlie Whisker, he, two decades older, was an established visual artist, while she was only taking the first tentative steps towards a writing career.

He became her mentor and they had a child together, living for a while at the centre of Irish artistic life with a circle of friends that included Bono and Ali Hewson, and receiving plaudits and awards for their artistic work.

However, when Whisker began to exhibit signs of early onset Alzheimers, Kelly had to make the painful transition from partner to carer for both him and their young daughter.

This is an unflinching look at an unforgiving illness. Kelly is not a saint and does not present herself as one, laying all of the frustrations born of living with a person with dementia out on the page. But it's this honesty that makes the book so compelling, as Kelly allows the reader to walk every step of the journey with her.

Your heart will break for the couple and in particular for their young daughter, who is forced to deal with ill health and memory loss at far too young an age, although the love between mother and daughter also shines out of the pages.

At times the portrait of the family is so intimate it feels more like reading a diary than a work of non-fiction, but this diarist is also an incredibly talented writer. I finished this 288-page book in a weekend, unable to tear my eyes away from the unfolding story and its moving, intensely human core.