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49 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Jo Carroll is such a good writer, she just pulls you right into the room with her, right off the bat -- she's being prepped for electric shock treatment, which she says she endured 50+ times. But the book is so much more than curiosity about that "treatment," although her graphic details give the reader an incredible insight...
Published on March 12, 2012 by Rebecca

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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misinformed
As a professional therapist with an extensive training and experience providing counseling to those living with mood disorders, I found this book fairly disappointing. It did not help with decreasing the stigma surrounding mental illness, it sparked more questions than it answered and the writing style was poor. From beginning to end, I found myself worrying about the...
Published 22 months ago by Erin Burke


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down, March 12, 2012
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This review is from: Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir (Kindle Edition)
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Jo Carroll is such a good writer, she just pulls you right into the room with her, right off the bat -- she's being prepped for electric shock treatment, which she says she endured 50+ times. But the book is so much more than curiosity about that "treatment," although her graphic details give the reader an incredible insight into what that is like, you feel like you are strapped to the table with her. She is a mother, wife, daughter, who moves through the chaos of marriages and kids and vacations, and getting jobs, and losing jobs, and trying to do everything right. There's a lot of humor in the things she does, coverting to Judism, camping with a bunch of kids, marrying a gay man, along with many dark days, when the world closes down on her. Her voice is so easy to follow, it just flows.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mom's Crazy, March 19, 2012
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This review is from: Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir (Kindle Edition)
This is the most incredible and honest book about a family that survive so much because of strength, love and determination. I started reading it and found I was taking my kindle everywhere because I couldn't wait to turn the page and see what happened next. I laughed, I cried, I empathized. Most of all, I came away with so much respect for JoCarroll and her family. It's been a long time since I was so mesmorized by a story. It gave me strength to face my smaller problems. Hats off to someone who had the honesty to tell her story and the strength to keep on going.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misinformed, September 5, 2012
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As a professional therapist with an extensive training and experience providing counseling to those living with mood disorders, I found this book fairly disappointing. It did not help with decreasing the stigma surrounding mental illness, it sparked more questions than it answered and the writing style was poor. From beginning to end, I found myself worrying about the emotional capacity of her children due to the author's disorganized impulsivity and disregard for self-care. Significant life experiences were glossed over or rationalized by the author as she attributed poor choices to her mood disorder. Sometimes negative choices are just negative choices...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Derailed, September 30, 2012
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This review is from: Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir (Kindle Edition)
I am halfway through this memoir and disappointed with it. Lewald's comparison of the thoughts in her head to trains on a track was clever initially, but at this point I have counted twenty-four references to the trains. The metaphor is over-used, and its effectiveness has been lost.

Also, I would like to see a little break-up of the chronology. The story moves forward like a train on a track (sorry!) -- full speed ahead. Pacing is an issue.

Having said that, I must applaud her for tackling such a sensitive and difficult subject. Her story is interesting. I just think it could have been told better. And the editing was less than stellar, as she mentions a man's "physic" rather than "physique."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling narrative, March 18, 2012
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This review is from: Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir (Kindle Edition)
I was so captured by this book that I read it in one sitting.

The author tells her story with a lucid yet passionate voice - one which compels empathy and the occasional sense of "there but for the Grace of God go I ...". Her candor and richly descriptive style draw the reader in, and she is also a fine storyteller, with a journalist's sense of drama creating the compulsion to find out what happens next. The way she conveys the effect of decisions and events on her internal state, and it in turn affects her decisions and subsequent events is elegant and fascinating.

In many ways, this memoir is not only the story of an individual's demons, joys, and journey but also the story of a particular time in our culture's recent history, when roles and values were in flux and the tension between self-realization and the demands of relationships created anxiety and confusion for many. It also reveals some of the regional differences between the Middle West and Deep South.

Above all, this book is an enjoyable, thought-provoking and very human read. I recommend it.

In the interest of full transparency, I have been a close friend of the author's son for many years. I have never had the privilege to get to know his mother personally, but reading her story feels like a very good start, and has left me with a powerful sense of respect and warmth toward her. I can also say that if you ever have a chance to read the memoir of a dear friend's parent, by all means do so - it will greatly heighten your sense of the specific lenses through which you view your relationships and world, and how there are many others!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok, March 28, 2012
This review is from: Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir (Kindle Edition)
I didn't think it was anything special really. Took me several days to read cuz I found it easy enough to put down. Had lots of minor typo's, too that appear to come from the author changing her mind how to word a sentence such as "a the woman" and she used starring (as "in a play") rather than staring (as "at the walls"). Several others, too. Not major...but a lot of little stuff.

I just didn't find this that special, uplifting, or inspiring, which I expect from a memoir (otherwise anyone could write one). My life has had more up's and down's than this. From the title and description, I expected more. Very little was about her illness, and I didn't come away from it with a better understanding or more knowledge than I had going in. If the reviews weren't so good, I wouldn't have bought it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, October 21, 2013
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This review is from: Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir (Kindle Edition)
This was a free memoir on amazon about a woman battling depression and being bipolar for most of her life. Besides that, she does a TON over the years. I'm kind of amazed how much she has been able to accomplish. At the same time, I didn't come through the book liking her. She's not someone I'd be friends with, but I admire a lot of what she's done. This book was pretty sad in parts, and it kind of jumped a bit and the ending seemed rushed, but overall, I enjoyed it! I would LOVE to see a book written by one of her kids, I'm sure their side of the story would be very interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So-So, January 17, 2014
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This review is from: Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir (Kindle Edition)
I know everyone's experience with bi-polar is a bit different. I too am bi-polar and found so little in common with this book that I felt like I was reading about a different illness. If you are not affected by bi-polar, you may enjoy this book more than I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yep, I love it!, March 19, 2013
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This review is from: Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir (Kindle Edition)
As someone who has bipolar, this book really hit home. I could see myself doing so many of the things that happened in this book--almost like I could have wrote it myself. Sometimes people get on the right meds and never have any bipolar drama, others of us aren't so lucky. Hopefully I'll get there at some point!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put this memoir down, February 6, 2013
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This review is from: Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir (Kindle Edition)
Very interesting incite into a bipolar woman's life. Her feelings and fears of her everyday life. She had three marriages, seven children and a lot of chaos that I can't imagine. I was glued, couldn't imagine living her life. Respected and disrespected her all at the same time, however I am not bi-polar so am not in her shoes and can't judge her decision making. She struggles daily to hold it together and I recommend the book highly to anyone interested in reading a memoir about the life of someone who is bi polar and trying to cope everyday. She doesn't give up and does a great job putting her experience in print to share.
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Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir
Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir by Jo Carroll Lewald
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