counter create hit The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide

Availability: Ready to download

Award-winning novelist and poet Gayle Brandeis's wrenching memoir of her complicated family history and her mother's suicide Gayle Brandeis's mother disappeared just after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found: she had hanged herself in the utility closet of a Pasadena parking garage. In this searing, formally inventive memoir, Gayle Award-winning novelist and poet Gayle Brandeis's wrenching memoir of her complicated family history and her mother's suicide Gayle Brandeis's mother disappeared just after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found: she had hanged herself in the utility closet of a Pasadena parking garage. In this searing, formally inventive memoir, Gayle describes the dissonance between being a new mother, a sweet-smelling infant at her chest, and a grieving daughter trying to piece together what happened, who her mother was, and all she had and hadn't understood about her. Around the time of her suicide, Gayle's mother had been working on a documentary about the rare illnesses she thought ravaged her family: porphyria and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. In The Art of Misdiagnosis, taking its title from her mother's documentary, Gayle braids together her own narration of the charged weeks surrounding her mother's suicide, transcripts of her mother's documentary, research into delusional and factitious disorders, and Gayle's own experience with misdiagnosis and illness (both fabricated and real). Slowly and expertly, The Art of Misdiagnosis peels back the complicated layers of deception and complicity, of physical and mental illness in Gayle's family, to show how she and her mother had misdiagnosed one another. Gayle's memoir is both a compelling search into the mystery of one's own family and a life-affirming story of the relief discovered through breaking familial and personal silences. Written by a gifted stylist, The Art of Misdiagnosis delves into the tangled mysteries of disease, mental illness, and suicide and comes out the other side with grace.


Compare

Award-winning novelist and poet Gayle Brandeis's wrenching memoir of her complicated family history and her mother's suicide Gayle Brandeis's mother disappeared just after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found: she had hanged herself in the utility closet of a Pasadena parking garage. In this searing, formally inventive memoir, Gayle Award-winning novelist and poet Gayle Brandeis's wrenching memoir of her complicated family history and her mother's suicide Gayle Brandeis's mother disappeared just after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found: she had hanged herself in the utility closet of a Pasadena parking garage. In this searing, formally inventive memoir, Gayle describes the dissonance between being a new mother, a sweet-smelling infant at her chest, and a grieving daughter trying to piece together what happened, who her mother was, and all she had and hadn't understood about her. Around the time of her suicide, Gayle's mother had been working on a documentary about the rare illnesses she thought ravaged her family: porphyria and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. In The Art of Misdiagnosis, taking its title from her mother's documentary, Gayle braids together her own narration of the charged weeks surrounding her mother's suicide, transcripts of her mother's documentary, research into delusional and factitious disorders, and Gayle's own experience with misdiagnosis and illness (both fabricated and real). Slowly and expertly, The Art of Misdiagnosis peels back the complicated layers of deception and complicity, of physical and mental illness in Gayle's family, to show how she and her mother had misdiagnosed one another. Gayle's memoir is both a compelling search into the mystery of one's own family and a life-affirming story of the relief discovered through breaking familial and personal silences. Written by a gifted stylist, The Art of Misdiagnosis delves into the tangled mysteries of disease, mental illness, and suicide and comes out the other side with grace.

30 review for The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rene Denfeld

    I can't believe I haven't reviewed this book until now—I was lucky to read an advanced copy. As someone who lost multiple family members to suicide, I found this to be an outstanding memoir. Brandeis is a gifted writer, capturing the terror, the complexity, the grief of losing loved ones to suicide. I can't believe I haven't reviewed this book until now—I was lucky to read an advanced copy. As someone who lost multiple family members to suicide, I found this to be an outstanding memoir. Brandeis is a gifted writer, capturing the terror, the complexity, the grief of losing loved ones to suicide.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Lindsay

    Razor-sharp, raw, poetic memoir about mothers and daughters, suicide, mental illness, and grief. Gayle Brandeis's mother disappeared shortly after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found hanging in the utility closet of parking garage of an apartment building for the elderly. THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS is a gorgeous read about a less-glamorous time. Gayle is struggling with grief and heartache, as well as the soupy surreal time of postpartum. Gayle takes this d Razor-sharp, raw, poetic memoir about mothers and daughters, suicide, mental illness, and grief. Gayle Brandeis's mother disappeared shortly after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found hanging in the utility closet of parking garage of an apartment building for the elderly. THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS is a gorgeous read about a less-glamorous time. Gayle is struggling with grief and heartache, as well as the soupy surreal time of postpartum. Gayle takes this dichotomy of death and birth and weaves it into a coherent, poetic narrative that brings readers into the grief experience. What's more is the family history surrounding a series of bizarre medical symptoms that often masked themselves as psychoses. Or was it psychosis, after all? It's hard to say because the symptoms tend to overlap: delusions, paranoia, factitious disorders; Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, porphyria. For the last few years of Gayle's mother's life, she was working on a documentary about these disorders, called THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS. Gayle takes that script and braids it, along with her own feelings and experiences into the narrative. I found the writing clear and glittery, the medical mystery fascinating, but most of all--I wondered, what really happened? From the back cover: "Written by a gifted stylist, THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS delves into the tangled mysteries of the disease, mental illness, and suicide, and comes out the other side with grace." For those who enjoyed PIECES OF MY MOTHER (Melissa Cistaro), THE FAR END OF HAPPY (Kathryn Craft) and THE GLASS EYE (Jeannie Vanasco) will find THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS resonates with similar themes. For all my reviews, including author interviews, please see: www.leslielindsay.com. Special thanks to Beacon Press for this review copy. All thoughts are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Wow. I read the first line, “After my mother hangs herself, I become Nancy Drew,” and didn’t look up until I was 80 pages in. I looked up and dove back in again. This memoir about Brandeis’ mother’s suicide and so much more is a work of art. The title comes from the title of a documentary film her mother worked on for years. Gayle and her sister Elizabeth were both sick as teenagers, their suffering exacerbated by doctors who couldn’t see what was really wrong with them. Meanwhile, neither their Wow. I read the first line, “After my mother hangs herself, I become Nancy Drew,” and didn’t look up until I was 80 pages in. I looked up and dove back in again. This memoir about Brandeis’ mother’s suicide and so much more is a work of art. The title comes from the title of a documentary film her mother worked on for years. Gayle and her sister Elizabeth were both sick as teenagers, their suffering exacerbated by doctors who couldn’t see what was really wrong with them. Meanwhile, neither their mother or her doctors acknowledged the mother’s worsening mental illness that ultimately led to her death. Brandeis has created a quilted narrative that includes pieces of her mother’s film, posthumous letters to her mother, information uncovered in her detective work, and the day by day narrative of the events leading up to the mother’s death and beyond. The author has torn the bandage off every wound here, sometimes bleeding all over the pages, but it’s such a gripping story I couldn’t stop reading. At first, I wasn’t sure I could read this book. My uncle hanged himself the year before Brandeis’ mother committed suicide. I did not want to revisit that event. But she drew me in, and the book is wonderful.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    A brilliant and harrowing peek back through the author's childhood illness, exaggerated and fostered by her brilliant but mentally ill mother who ultimately dies by suicide. Brandeis writes with a poet's beauty and a journalist's keen observation, making herself vulnerable as she pieces together the threads of her mother's mind as it intersected with her own health and sense of self. A beautiful, insightful, powerful memoir. A brilliant and harrowing peek back through the author's childhood illness, exaggerated and fostered by her brilliant but mentally ill mother who ultimately dies by suicide. Brandeis writes with a poet's beauty and a journalist's keen observation, making herself vulnerable as she pieces together the threads of her mother's mind as it intersected with her own health and sense of self. A beautiful, insightful, powerful memoir.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rivera Sun

    A strangely fascinating journey that grips you from the start and doesn't let go until you feel as if you know the whole family personally. The unraveling of her mother's (and her own) life yields insights for all of us. It took great courage to write this book, and share it with all of us. The story starts with her mother's suicide and takes you down the rabbit hole of mental health issues. Gayle Brandeis uses scorching honesty and her gift for words to open the story up layer by layer. Her sto A strangely fascinating journey that grips you from the start and doesn't let go until you feel as if you know the whole family personally. The unraveling of her mother's (and her own) life yields insights for all of us. It took great courage to write this book, and share it with all of us. The story starts with her mother's suicide and takes you down the rabbit hole of mental health issues. Gayle Brandeis uses scorching honesty and her gift for words to open the story up layer by layer. Her story is unique, and yet, by the end of the book, you see so much of humanity in it - you might even see yourself. I am awed by the author's ability to take us on this journey with such grace, transformation, and yet gritty, squishy, awkward, humble honesty. Powerful.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tim Cummings

    This book is a bloodletting, soaked with emotion so palpable it feels like a gentle violence. It is gorgeously rendered by author Brandeis; a paean to the power of healing through writing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan DeFreitas

    Too often, we ignore difficult emotions and hard conversations--until we have no choice but to confront them, which is what happened for Gayle Brandeis when her mother committed suicide. And while that's not a situation (thankfully) that many of us will ever face, the author's honest, moving, and at times even funny reckoning with her larger-than-life mother is something all of us can learn from. In giving ourselves permission to, in the unintentional humor of one of Brandeis’s relatives, “know Too often, we ignore difficult emotions and hard conversations--until we have no choice but to confront them, which is what happened for Gayle Brandeis when her mother committed suicide. And while that's not a situation (thankfully) that many of us will ever face, the author's honest, moving, and at times even funny reckoning with her larger-than-life mother is something all of us can learn from. In giving ourselves permission to, in the unintentional humor of one of Brandeis’s relatives, “know hard feelings," we not only give others permission to do the same, we open the door that leads back to the sunlit place where we’d like to live our lives.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danette V

    This was a painful read, and I don’t know how she brought herself to share so much. But I do appreciate her candor and found so much of her journey interesting, and certain areas are just fascinating. Her writing is style is sophisticated and poetic, and I found her skill set combined with the often dark subject matter to be an interesting aspect in and of itself.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susan Walker

    Very good read not only about mental illness, but, on how to survive a family member's suicide. Very good read not only about mental illness, but, on how to survive a family member's suicide.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Pribus

    When I saw two copies on the new book shelf, I figured it must be a well-reviewed book. although I'd never heard of it. It was a compelling, but uneasy book about a writing teacher/published author dealing with her mother's suicide. You know this from the start. The book braids her history of serious untreated mental health problems, a TV documentary the mother was producing dealing with under-diagnosed illnesses, and the daughter's past history and current dealing with the aftermath of the suici When I saw two copies on the new book shelf, I figured it must be a well-reviewed book. although I'd never heard of it. It was a compelling, but uneasy book about a writing teacher/published author dealing with her mother's suicide. You know this from the start. The book braids her history of serious untreated mental health problems, a TV documentary the mother was producing dealing with under-diagnosed illnesses, and the daughter's past history and current dealing with the aftermath of the suicide. But for me, it had that MFA feel of being Perfectly Constructed and Beautifully Written. While the mother had a huge desire to be center stage, it felt to me that the daughter/writer did, too. In the end, it felt as though she may have written it to help herself cope, she'd published it for recognition of All I Went Through and maybe make a few bucks at the same time. This may be unkind, but there was always a measured quality to the whole book -- is this making an impact?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Romalyn Tilghman

    As an ardent fan of Gayle Brandeis' words, I pre-ordered the book and had it delivered on publication day. Then sat down and devoured it. The subject is difficult, no doubt about it, but in the end, this poignant memoir says far more about life than it does about death. Relationships are complex, as often "misdiagnosed" as the maladies of our bodies. As great writers do, the author captures the most specific details to underline universal truth, in this case the fine line between sanity and insa As an ardent fan of Gayle Brandeis' words, I pre-ordered the book and had it delivered on publication day. Then sat down and devoured it. The subject is difficult, no doubt about it, but in the end, this poignant memoir says far more about life than it does about death. Relationships are complex, as often "misdiagnosed" as the maladies of our bodies. As great writers do, the author captures the most specific details to underline universal truth, in this case the fine line between sanity and insanity. The words are those of a poet, carefully chosen, each meaningful, always insightful. The compelling story, exquisitely woven, will resonate and echo until the next reading.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie Devine

    A lyrical, searing memoir about sudden and devastating loss, this is one 2017 book not to be missed. Moving between the time surrounding her mother's suicide and a posthumous letter to her mother, Gayle Brandeis has drilled into the center of complicated maternal loss in her beautiful poet's prose. She has also inserted transcripts of a documentary her mother created surrounding medical misdiagnoses, offering necessary insight into her mother's mental instability, and explores motherhood (her th A lyrical, searing memoir about sudden and devastating loss, this is one 2017 book not to be missed. Moving between the time surrounding her mother's suicide and a posthumous letter to her mother, Gayle Brandeis has drilled into the center of complicated maternal loss in her beautiful poet's prose. She has also inserted transcripts of a documentary her mother created surrounding medical misdiagnoses, offering necessary insight into her mother's mental instability, and explores motherhood (her third child was born one week before her mother's suicide) as both mother and daughter. Rarely am I this captivated and moved by a memoir, and this one soars to the top of my favorites list.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lauralee Woodruff

    Actually a 3 and a half. Kind of a choppy read, slow going for me, but real and, perhaps because I'm a therapist, familiar. Actually a 3 and a half. Kind of a choppy read, slow going for me, but real and, perhaps because I'm a therapist, familiar.

  14. 4 out of 5

    B Lynn

    Exploring Mom Though Gayle Brandeis’s memoir, The Art of Misdiagnosis, gives a whole new meaning to the sandwich generation, it goes much further. Brandeis grew up faking illnesses as a means of getting attention and being special. Her mother leaned into it, declaring that the doctors were making one misdiagnosis after another. She got healthy, got married, and had just given birth when her mother hung herself in a parking garage, even though she was in the midst of a creative film project called Exploring Mom Though Gayle Brandeis’s memoir, The Art of Misdiagnosis, gives a whole new meaning to the sandwich generation, it goes much further. Brandeis grew up faking illnesses as a means of getting attention and being special. Her mother leaned into it, declaring that the doctors were making one misdiagnosis after another. She got healthy, got married, and had just given birth when her mother hung herself in a parking garage, even though she was in the midst of a creative film project called The Art of Misdiagnosis. The memoir is partly about the sweetness of being a new mother, partly about the strain in Brandeis’s relationship with her own mother, partly about misdiagnosis and misunderstanding, and partly about the ways unspoken issues can destroy us. Part reflection, part Art of Misdiagnosis script, part letters to mom, this book explores relationships, confusion, life, loss, and misunderstanding. There are many mother-daughter memoirs on the market. This one stands out because the author digs deeply as she explores her mother’s illnesses making discoveries and taking responsibility. Her mother speaks from the grave as Brandeis shares parts of her documentary. Suicide, disease, and mental issues are difficult issues to deal with. Brandeis’s explorations are heart-felt and nuanced. She takes the time needed to delve into the mysteries of thoughts gone awry and unspoken secrets, which I cannot identify without avoiding spoilers, but as she does so, she shows readers how to heal themselves. Though Brandeis speaks for and about women, men should read this book too, especially if they work in any branch of the medical profession. We are all complex human beings and her memoir asks many questions that most of us wonder about, whether we admit it or not. Let her insights help you explore your own views. Highly recommended!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Slavin

    I read Brandeis' book in less than 24 hours. I was mesmerized by the story, the mother-daughter tensions and traumas, the writing, structure, self-exploration, and other relationships. A story that begins at the end - with a death - and somehow keeps me turning the pages even though I know what "happens," is truly a work of art. The other book about mothers and daughters where that page-turning up-all-night urgency happened for me was Ariel Gore's The End of Eve; it's appropriate, then, that Gor I read Brandeis' book in less than 24 hours. I was mesmerized by the story, the mother-daughter tensions and traumas, the writing, structure, self-exploration, and other relationships. A story that begins at the end - with a death - and somehow keeps me turning the pages even though I know what "happens," is truly a work of art. The other book about mothers and daughters where that page-turning up-all-night urgency happened for me was Ariel Gore's The End of Eve; it's appropriate, then, that Gore blurbs Brandeis' book because they are of the same genre. I'd argue, however, that Brandeis' book reaches even further into the self, digs even deeper, and she thus comes out with more compassion and depth, in the character of the narrator and in the feeling I'm left with as a reader, which is to say, gutted. The use of creative structuring to tell the story - the letters to the mother, and the pull quotes from the mother's documentary film, after which the book is titled, along with general narrative is a three-stranded weave that really works, even with multiple characters and time-settings in the mix. I felt deeply for Brandeis a child, due in part because I grew up in the same area and felt both that adolescent pull, and even the mother's grandiosity, of wanting to fit in among "stars" in a wealthy suburbs where look good often trumps actual good. The Art of the Misdiagnosis is, for me, a real beacon of what a memoir can accomplish - in story-telling, in truth-telling, and in the truth that is "art saves lives."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pam Venne

    Loss of a parent is difficult for most of us. When it is a suicide, it makes it even harder to accept and process as there are so many unanswered questions. In THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS, Brandies takes us with her to process her mother's death. It begins with understanding that illness runs in the family and how Brandies used the concept of "the sick one" to gain attention and love she felt she was not receiving from her mother. Gayle's mother works on a documentary about her family that is believ Loss of a parent is difficult for most of us. When it is a suicide, it makes it even harder to accept and process as there are so many unanswered questions. In THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS, Brandies takes us with her to process her mother's death. It begins with understanding that illness runs in the family and how Brandies used the concept of "the sick one" to gain attention and love she felt she was not receiving from her mother. Gayle's mother works on a documentary about her family that is believed to be ravaged by two rare diseases - porphyria and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The documentary, letters to her deceased mother, and several other events help Gayle process her loss eventually. Suicide is no stranger to my family. But not due to any rare disorders. Yes, it is hard to accept. Perhaps I am not as sensitive as Brandise as it never took me as long to process their loss. The book does bring attention to the two rare diseases, and if that is the reason behind the book, then I believe that she achieved her goal.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara Paye

    Despite having a real reason to let a misdiagnosis or an illness take over her life, Brandeis stands strong as the author of Misdiagnosis to share that there is something else that pulls us out of the muck and mire. There is something else that leads us to the next level of creating. Misdiagnosis is a powerful statement about how delicate, how simultaneously mighty human relationships can be; how these relationships are the things we build, the things by which we are built. In fact, Brandeis dem Despite having a real reason to let a misdiagnosis or an illness take over her life, Brandeis stands strong as the author of Misdiagnosis to share that there is something else that pulls us out of the muck and mire. There is something else that leads us to the next level of creating. Misdiagnosis is a powerful statement about how delicate, how simultaneously mighty human relationships can be; how these relationships are the things we build, the things by which we are built. In fact, Brandeis demonstrates in her work here that her sturdiest hope was the result of painful contractions, wild moaning breaths. It is the baby in her lap, the young life full of potential resting in her arms. The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide by Gayle Brandeis reflects the hope that perhaps the thing that sits in my lap, full of potential, is the writing of my own memoir on my identity and the relationships connected to it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I have had this book on my shelf for almost a year. A recent issue of O, The Oprah magazine had a section on suicide including input from survivors of attempted suicide. So, I thought this would be a good time to read this book and the timing was right. Brandeis is an excellent writer. She manages to intersperse portions of her mother's documentary (with the same name as the book), portions of what is happening in the now, her reflections immediately following and in the months after her mother's I have had this book on my shelf for almost a year. A recent issue of O, The Oprah magazine had a section on suicide including input from survivors of attempted suicide. So, I thought this would be a good time to read this book and the timing was right. Brandeis is an excellent writer. She manages to intersperse portions of her mother's documentary (with the same name as the book), portions of what is happening in the now, her reflections immediately following and in the months after her mother's suicide and her reflections and memories her psychiatrist asked her to write. Although it sounds confusing, it all flows resulting in a better understanding of what happened to her, her sister and her mother when it comes to misdiagnosis. It is a book that asks the reader to reflect and does a good job of it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pam Parker

    Lyrical language plus a daughter trying to understand her mother's suicide does not sound like the formula for a good read. But, it is in the hands of the right author. Gayle Brandeis leads the reader into her family dynamics, with three strong women -- her mother, Gayle and her sister. Her mother's untreated mental illness is the background noise as Brandeis explores the tangled threads of illness affecting each of them -- physical/mental, real, imagined, self-induced? The journey, though full Lyrical language plus a daughter trying to understand her mother's suicide does not sound like the formula for a good read. But, it is in the hands of the right author. Gayle Brandeis leads the reader into her family dynamics, with three strong women -- her mother, Gayle and her sister. Her mother's untreated mental illness is the background noise as Brandeis explores the tangled threads of illness affecting each of them -- physical/mental, real, imagined, self-induced? The journey, though full of compassion, is also unflinching. Brandeis does not avoid the hard questions -- of herself or anyone else. I imagine there were some challenging conversations between the sisters before the book came out. Highly recommend.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lauren DePino

    I saw Gayle Brandeis read from her memoir, The Art of Misdiagnosis, at the Last Bookstore recently. I bought the book that night and when I got home, I immediately reread the passage she had read that made me cry. I still do. It starts on page 183, in case you’re curious. Gayle’s writing is like music and her story is unforgettable. She’s weathered the effects of her mother’s mental illness with forgiveness and pureness of heart. There’s a lesson for all of us there about accepting people and lo I saw Gayle Brandeis read from her memoir, The Art of Misdiagnosis, at the Last Bookstore recently. I bought the book that night and when I got home, I immediately reread the passage she had read that made me cry. I still do. It starts on page 183, in case you’re curious. Gayle’s writing is like music and her story is unforgettable. She’s weathered the effects of her mother’s mental illness with forgiveness and pureness of heart. There’s a lesson for all of us there about accepting people and loving them, even when it’s difficult to do so, yet never at the expense of not protecting ourselves.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    This was an incredibly tragic story of a mom who died by suicide and her daughter's search for meaning in her actions. Despite being an intense story, it felt disjointed - I wasn't always sure what one thing had to do with another and how all of the pieces fit together (or didn't). It was partially about physical health - both the author's mom's health and her own - and partially about mental health. And while these are inextricably bound, that wasn't always clear in this book. It was a sad read This was an incredibly tragic story of a mom who died by suicide and her daughter's search for meaning in her actions. Despite being an intense story, it felt disjointed - I wasn't always sure what one thing had to do with another and how all of the pieces fit together (or didn't). It was partially about physical health - both the author's mom's health and her own - and partially about mental health. And while these are inextricably bound, that wasn't always clear in this book. It was a sad read and at times a compelling story, but it never quite worked together.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jane Hamilton

    What if the best thing and the worst thing that can happen to a person happen in the same week? The memoirist's son is born and her mom commits suicide a week apart, and for Gayle and her family, nothing is unaltered. The Art of Misdiagnosis is a harrowing, searing book, as much for the beauty of Gayle's writing, which causes the text move into you like a weapon, and for its topic, a child's mournful cry for her disturbed mother. What if the best thing and the worst thing that can happen to a person happen in the same week? The memoirist's son is born and her mom commits suicide a week apart, and for Gayle and her family, nothing is unaltered. The Art of Misdiagnosis is a harrowing, searing book, as much for the beauty of Gayle's writing, which causes the text move into you like a weapon, and for its topic, a child's mournful cry for her disturbed mother.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Woodstock Pickett

    Fascinating story and a compelling read about a complicated relationship between mother and daughters. The author weaves into her story excerpts from a screenplay for an unfinished documentary her mother was working on at the time of her death. I found these insertions somewhat disruptive and I don't think I understand their presence in the larger book. Downrated to four stars because of my confusion on that issue Fascinating story and a compelling read about a complicated relationship between mother and daughters. The author weaves into her story excerpts from a screenplay for an unfinished documentary her mother was working on at the time of her death. I found these insertions somewhat disruptive and I don't think I understand their presence in the larger book. Downrated to four stars because of my confusion on that issue

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Collins

    This is riveting read about growing up with a mentally ill parent. Ms. Brandeis mother was obviously an intelligent and driven woman who was mentally ill but seemingly never diagnosed. The book details the extreme circumstances of the effects of her illness on her two daughters and Brandeis' coming to terms with the lose of her mother not only as a child due to her erratic behavior but also as an adult and new mother herself. This is riveting read about growing up with a mentally ill parent. Ms. Brandeis mother was obviously an intelligent and driven woman who was mentally ill but seemingly never diagnosed. The book details the extreme circumstances of the effects of her illness on her two daughters and Brandeis' coming to terms with the lose of her mother not only as a child due to her erratic behavior but also as an adult and new mother herself.

  25. 4 out of 5

    LoriO

    Beautifully written--raw, honest, relatable, with a structure that really suited the subject matter. Brandeis has compassion for her mother, and for herself, and that shines through. I'd be interested to hear how the audiobook version of this (does it exist?) would be rendered; it would be interesting to actually hear her mother's documentary rather than just read the bits of transcript...if that's how the audiobook is done, of course. Beautifully written--raw, honest, relatable, with a structure that really suited the subject matter. Brandeis has compassion for her mother, and for herself, and that shines through. I'd be interested to hear how the audiobook version of this (does it exist?) would be rendered; it would be interesting to actually hear her mother's documentary rather than just read the bits of transcript...if that's how the audiobook is done, of course.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tracy McQuay

    Powerful memoir with an intimate and honest look into mental illness and the impact it has on a family. I loved the layering of narrative, letters to her mother, and excerpts from her mother’s documentary. Brandeis does not shy away from sharing her most personal stories nor does she use devices like humor or sarcasm to cover her vulnerability. Thank you, Gayle.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Clementine Ford

    I gave 4 stars because I think she did what she set out to do and did it beautifully. The last half flew by and I really could not stop reading. My only issues were that the last few sections felt rushed and, at times, I found the structure distracting. Highly recommend it though. Well worth your time.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    Friends, get this memoir. Get it because it's beautiful, because it's haunting, because it's truthful without being cruel. Get it because it will teach you how to do all these things in your writing and life, too. I am a bit biased since I get to call Gayle friend, but this is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Friends, get this memoir. Get it because it's beautiful, because it's haunting, because it's truthful without being cruel. Get it because it will teach you how to do all these things in your writing and life, too. I am a bit biased since I get to call Gayle friend, but this is one of the best memoirs I've ever read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen DeBonis

    I love the structure of this amazing book. Gayle Brandeis tells her story using narrative, letters written to her mother posthumously, and excerpts from her mother's unfinished multi-media project on misdiagnosed rare illness, especially porphyria. The author weaves the elements together provocatively for the reader. I love the structure of this amazing book. Gayle Brandeis tells her story using narrative, letters written to her mother posthumously, and excerpts from her mother's unfinished multi-media project on misdiagnosed rare illness, especially porphyria. The author weaves the elements together provocatively for the reader.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cherise

    Wonderfully written I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I have only known one person who took his life. But I could still identify with the author as we have had mental illness in our family and reading her description of what her mom was like and her and her sisters response was very similar to how I have felt.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.