The Memory Palace

The Memory Palace

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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A gorgeous memoir about the seventeen-year estrangement of the author and her homeless schizophrenic mother, and their reunion.
Publisher: Old Saybrook :, Tantor,, 2014
Edition: Unabridged
Description: 1 online resource (1 sound file (12 hr., 9 min., 44 sec.)) : digital
ISBN: 9781452620251
1452620253
Additional Contributors: Huber, Hillary.
Tantor Media

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IndyPL_SteveB Aug 03, 2019

A beautifully written and compelling memoir of growing up with a schizophrenic mother. It’s one of the best memoirs I have ever read.

Myra and Rachel had a terrifying childhood. Their grandfather was mentally ill, sadistic and abusive. Their father was a promising novelist who destroyed himself through alcoholism. Their mother Norma had been a beautiful teenage piano prodigy who began showing her schizophrenia at the age of 19. By the time the girls were 12 and 11, Norma was walking around waving knives, subjecting them to public humiliation, talking about the Nazis and aliens hiding under the bed, conversing with invisible people, and occasionally threatening the girls’ lives. As the girls managed to go to college and start careers, their mother would show up to harass their employers, friends, and boyfriends, often pounding on doors in the middle of the night. The girls changed their names and stayed separated from their mother for 17 years, until Mira (Myra’s new name) discovers that her mother is homeless and dying of cancer.

The writing is deeply emotional, leading the reader through the terror and frustration, to the years of guilt, and finally the beginnings of understanding, as Mira begins to see why she managed to love her mother in spite of everything. It is a harrowing account at some points but if you persevere, you will gain a deeper compassion for and understanding of the mentally ill. You will also begin to appreciate the strength it took for the author to examine her life and come to terms with her mother.

On the audio book version, Hillary Huber seems to become the author in her fine narration.

i
imaryg
Oct 04, 2018

Listened to this book on audio disk. Good narrator, and a reasonably good book, but, I found the subject matter, dysfunctional family and mother who was schizophrenic very difficult to listen to, personally.

j
Jenmat
May 29, 2012

I love stories about dysfunctional families. This is about the author and her mentaly unstable mother, and their complex relationship. Pretty good.

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