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The Memory Palace Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 11, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Although we had family counseling, and the children were most successful in their academic careers, many of their fears and sufferings were never shared and continue to this day to affect their adult memory of their individual childhood experiences.
Last week, their mother told me for the first time in thirty years, what a fine father I had been to them and how sorry she was that she had caused us such trials. It was as if the clouds parted and the sun shone brilliantly through. Certainly, Ms. Bartok's memoire retold a similar revelation. There is hope and her own life and guilty feelings are not the conclusion. It is so helpful for those of us dealing with loved ones suffering from mental illness to hear Mira's story.
This is the second volume of anguish to come my way out of Cleveland, my home town, this year. The first was a marvel, from Jill Bialosky, History of a suicide: my sister's unfinished life.
That one came with the wallop of an atomic bomb. But it didn't prepare me for the hydrogen bomb follow-up (atomic bombs are merely the trigger for the 24x more powerful H-bomb) that came my way by an innocuous-seeming mention in the high school class newsletter of The Memory Palace by one Myra Bartok. What an innocent title, but the subject beckoned: a schizophrenic mother. Another author from my high school, I'll give it a look.
I started reading, and stopped breathing: Myra Bartok (a name she chose for herself taken from the famous Hungarian composer) and/or her writing is : Unrelenting, menacing, powerful, astonishing, raw, heartbreaking. Bialosky had stood me up with the left hand, and Bartok finished the fight with a right cross. Out cold.
Bialosky hailed from Shaker Heights, the tony east side suburb that proletarian west siders like us may never even see after a lifetime in Cleveland (though I left town at 17). Turns out Ms. Bartok grew up a mere four blocks from my house. I knew every reference to the local schools, and landmarks, first-hand, back-of-my-hand.
I finished the book, but still I wonder: how she could even function, let alone write a NY Times bestseller after her abusive childhood, abusive from every quarter, grandfather, grandmother, classmates, but especially her schizophrenic mother. It simply astonishes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very astounding portrayal schizophrenia and the accompanying guilt and helplessness that families deal with. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Kindle Customer
Mira Bartok’s memoir is a story of her relationship with her schizophrenic mother, Norma. In her prologue, Bartok sets the stakes: she gives the hypothetical situation of a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Raymond M. Wong
A heart wrenching and heartwarming memoir detailing a woman's struggles with her schizophrenic mother and her mother's final days. Read morePublished 5 months ago by T. Schwartz
sorry. not my kind of read. Not as informative as I would have hoped.Published 11 months ago by teaberry
This is beautifully written about a singularly difficult subject. That of children renouncing their mother, due to being abused in childhood and adulthood by a chronically... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Alicia Cervesa