How ‘Lost in Time’ Gently Explores Dementia | by Dawn Treacher

Landscape graphic. Half white and half purple gradient, split on the diagonal. White half has overlayed text: "How 'Lost in Time' Gently Explores Dementia". Purple side features a large transparent clock and the cover of 'Lost in Time'.

Dawn Treacher is the author of ‘Lost in Time’. Although written as a wonderous adventure through time, it’s actually a book about dementia. The story contains many gentle references to the subject of dementia, which is a topic close to the author. In this blog, Dawn explains why she chose to centre her latest book around the concept of time and how the book gently introduces the topic of dementia to a younger audience.

‘Lost in Time’ begins with the words: “For Connie’s gran, time was shrinking.” Though I never use the term ‘dementia’ in my story, I hope this will be a gentle introduction to something which affects many families and something I have a deeply personal connection to.

My mother-in-law has been living with dementia for almost 12 years now. For her, memories have shrunk, stealing those spent with family and loved ones. For a woman who studied psychology and language development at university in her sixties, she now has no language left. Dementia has been called the long goodbye. Though she may not have access to times past and memories made, those memories live on with those who love her. I have dedicated Lost in Time to her.

“Stories for this age group shouldn’t shy away from the bigger topics…”

This story is an epic adventure, travelling through wormholes and time but it is also an exploration of time itself, how it affects all our lives, and can control it if we let it. It explores the concept of losing time, and time running out and how that would affect us. For those with dementia, time and memories are shrinking, they are lost, whole decades at a time, never to return. Those with the condition, like Connie’s gran, may find themselves stuck in an era from the past when these are the only memories they can now access, with the more recent past slipping away with their memories. But I hope my story will also show the importance of family and keeping memories alive.

So why, may you ask, have I decided to weave a story around time? Because for me, children’s stories for this age group shouldn’t shy away from the bigger topics. Children have inquiring minds and are curious about the world around them. These curiosities can be explored safely within the context of a story. Time is something which affects us all. It dictates the structure of our day. We are surrounded by clocks, even more so today with mobile phones. Even the school day is arranged around slots of time.

In an ever-increasingly stressful world in which children are growing up and with the rapid increase in technology in their everyday lives, I wanted to explore what is important to us. I hope it shows how finding these important things in life, our families and friends and making time to create memories together, will help give our lives meaning and happiness.

‘Lost in Time’ by Dawn Treacher is available now from all good bookshops. Published by Tiny Tree Books.

Scroll to Top