Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$6.00
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by BCM Media
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very good copy with moderate cover and page wear from being handled and read. Accessories or dust jacket may be missing. Could be an ex-library copy that will have all the stickers and or marking of the library. Some textual or margin notes possible, and or contain highlighting.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Rescuing Patty Hearst: Growing Up Sane in a Decade Gone Mad Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 25, 2003


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Deckle Edge
"Please retry"
$1.92 $0.01

The 20/20 Diet: Turn Your Weight Loss Vision Into Reality
Dr. Phil and his team have created a plan that you can start following right now and continue working for the rest of your life.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Nineteen seventy-four was a bad time to go crazy," reads the gripping first line in this thoroughly unique memoir by Virginia Holman, a frequent contributor to magazines such as Redbook and Self. But despite that sentence and the suggestion of the title (Patty Hearst is a metaphor here, not a character), this work of "creative nonfiction" is extremely personal rather than generational. As with The Liar's Club by Mary Karr (whose Spartan but poetic prose Holman sometimes recalls), the strength of Rescuing Patty Hearst is that it finds universality in a very specific situation and story.

One year after the famous heiress's celebrated kidnapping, in the midst of Watergate and the other turbulent events of America's most misunderstood era, the author's mother retreated with her two daughters to a rustic cabin in rural Virginia, thoroughly convinced that the voices in her head were directing her to establish a field hospital in preparation for a cataclysmic war that never came. The book proceeds to chart Holman's mother's extended and heartbreakingly sad battle with schizophrenia, and its impact on her seemingly typical middle-class American family. The author's response progresses from detached bemusement, to horror and revulsion, and to a warm understanding and acceptance without ever becoming callous, maudlin, or romantic. Her recollections make for a consistently riveting story, while leaving the reader with a deep and profound understanding of the true tragedies and frustrating complexities of severe mental illness. --Jim DeRogatis

From Publishers Weekly

One year after the Patty Hearst kidnapping fiasco, in 1975, Holman's mother, Molly, kidnapped her children (who were then ages eight and one) and brought them to live in the family's tiny cottage in Virginia. In her disturbing but luminous memoir of her mother's slow descent into schizophrenia, Holman writes, "My mother believed she had been inducted into a secret army. My mother, my baby sister, Emma, and I were foot soldiers entrusted with setting up a field hospital. We lived in that cottage for over three years." This twisted adventure begins with mother and daughter sanitizing the "hospital" with cut-up underwear soaked in ammonia and painting the cabin's windows black. When curious relatives drop by, Molly (lapsing into an unfamiliar British accent) warns her girls to keep mum: "You cannot talk about the secret war.... Your government has asked you to help. You will do what I say." The family's nightmare unfolds slowly, as Molly's mask of sanity becomes increasingly less convincing to friends and family. Holman's depiction of her young self "feeling trapped behind thick walls of glass" is hair-raisingly poignant. Of course she knows something isn't right with her mother, but years pass before the other adults in her life (including her father) provide a language for speaking about the unspeakable. Idealists should be forewarned: this unforgettable memoir doesn't have a rosy ending. However, Holman's gutsy prose bespeaks her survivor's backbone and hindsight.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (February 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743222857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743222853
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,443,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm an author, magazine writer, and teacher based in NC.
I wrote a memoir of my mother's untreated schizophrenia,
Rescuing Patty Hearst, published in paper by Simon & Schuster in 2004. I have a novel forthcoming
from Simon & Schuster.
I used to have a website but it lapsed and someone else claimed the domain name
and now blogs about books. I have no affiliation with it.

Customer Reviews

I don't know of any other memoir quite like this -- or any other childhood like the one Ms. Holman experienced and describes.
"msartor"
Well, maybe that's just how I wanted it to be.'" Wanting reality to be different for ourselves and for our loved ones - surely that's something we can all relate to.
Steph
Through this book she offers a powerful gift to the world, giving valuable insight into the lives of families torn asunder by mental illness.
"fireman_named_bob"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "fireman_named_bob" on March 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I found Virginia Holman's Rescuing Patty Hearst to be deeply moving. I too have a family member who suffers from mental illness and can relate to the isolation, the shame, and the struggle to find help from the community. Her depiction of a child raised by a schizophrenic mother is heartbreaking. Children often explore the boundary between fantasy and reality, and here, her mother's psychosis blurs those lines even further. Her mother's delusions become enmeshed into her everyday life. As the author grows into a young woman, she begins to sense the immensity of what is lost, and a different kind of struggle begins. How can her mother be helped when she denies needing it? How can her father, her sister and herself cope with the enormous loss and live fulfilling lives when their world is dominated by an illness that destroys the woman they love? Holman's brave memoir is a testament to the enduring human spirit and to the power of love. Through this book she offers a powerful gift to the world, giving valuable insight into the lives of families torn asunder by mental illness.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on March 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In 1974, Virginia Holman was kidnapped. RESCUING PATTY HEARST is her ransom note.
The kidnapping was "custodial", which usually conjures up images of battery or abuse, or a divorce gone horribly wrong. The perpetrator here was not Holman's father or mother; instead, it was a disease. Holman's mother began experiencing delusions related to an undiagnosed case of schizophrenia. She came to believe that she was a soldier in a secret war and had to set up the family's vacation cottage on the Virginia coast as a field hospital to care for hordes of orphan children. But there were only two children in the small cottage --- Virginia and her baby sister --- and they were not being cared for.
Holman tells the story of her childhood experiences on two parallel tracks; each chapter has a date heading that explains whether a younger "Gingie" Holman, or her older, wiser contemporary counterpart is telling the story. We see what happens to Gingie, what she felt about it at the time, and how it affects her now. The author constantly evaluates and reevaluates her mother's actions and her own through the prism of time and experience, rotating back and forth in time to better understand what happened and why.
The book's subtitle is "Memories From A Decade Gone Mad"; its first line is "Nineteen seventy-four was a bad time to go crazy." Holman does not blame the excesses of the 1970's for her mother's illness, but makes the point that society was so topsy-turvy at that time that her mother's schizophrenia-induced actions seemed more normal than they otherwise might have. Holman's role model at that young age was Patricia Hearst, kidnapped heiress turned domestic terrorist. She is invoked as a symbol of the times, showing how stunning reversals in character and action can take place.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In the early 70s, Virginia Holman's mother kidnapped her to a shack on the Chesapeake Bay, painted the windows black, and recruited her to be a soldier in her hallucinated war to save the children. At times tender, often heartwrenching, and with lyric language, Holman's memoir uncovers the painful, secret lives of people who survive schizophrenia in the family. It is an extrarodinary story, told with astonishing honesty and beauty, and finally a sense of hope strong as forged steel.
Do not miss reading this book. It is stunning.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Virginia Holman's Rescuing Patty Hearst pulled me in from the very first pages. I couldn't put it down. The kids had to fix their own dinner, put themselves to bed, and I stayed up until a little past midnight to finish it. Hers is a story that is fascinating, painful, funny, and educational. She writes with great clarity and deftness and an honesty that is astonishing. I'm encouraging everyone in my family to read this book, and I think it should be on everyone's reading list, especially those with mentally ill family members or who work in the mental health profession.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have been so tired of memoirs, but then I saw Rescuing Patty Hearst and had to pick it up. I grew up in the 70s, and had a pretty normal childhood, but I knew a family that reminded me of Holman's. As a child, we children just stayed away from the weird family, but now I begin to see what it must be like to live in such a strange household.
Holman's book is hard, but funny as hell in places--reminds me of the Liar's Club and This Boy's Life, two of my favorite books. And the seventies came back to me in full force. Watergate, the music, the clothes. Wow, wow, wow. This book is just so right on. All I have to say is I can't wait for the next book.
Keep on truckin!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I would like to thank Virginia Holman for writing this book.
Being the offspring of a mother diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, I was also brought up with maternal delusional thought processses and paternal helplessness. I know what a difficult story this is to narrate. Virginia Holman could not have done a better job.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By sally on May 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I came across this book after hearing Holman speak at a Mental Health conference. Her talk and reading really brought to light the immense struggle of families who suffer with a severely mentally ill loved one. After the talk, people began standing up and telling their stories. I'm a scoail worker and I really didn't understand how many people struggle with ill loved ones
and how little help the legal and clinical system can provide to these families. It has certainly made me redouble my efforts
to listen, truly listen, and provide assistance to the family members I treat.
The book itself is truly remarkable. I have never read anything that really got to me the way this book did. Holman tells her story quietly and compellingly and without one iota of self-pity. Sometimes, she's pretty funny, too. I'm recommending it to all of my friends and colleagues.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?