Saturday, June 28, 2008

Trading Dreams at Midnight Diane Mckinney Whetstone

Trading Dreams at Midnight by Diane Mckinney-Whetstone. Mckinney-Whetstone's novel are always set in Phildelaphia and they have a lyrical beauty to them. Her charcters are always strong, and sometimes in need of forgiveness. My favorite for years was Tumbling though Trading Dreams at Midnight is fighting for a top spot in my booklover's heart.

Neena and Tish's mom Freeda suffered from extreme highs and lows. She would disappear for months at a time leaving her daughters with their grandmother, Nan. Freeda can't help but listen to the voice, for fear if she doesn't he'll let the devil in. Then one day the voice tells Freeda to kill her daugthers. This time Freeda refuses, but she isn't strong enough to stay. The story unfolds from there. I must admit mental illness stories especially when it comes to mother daughter relationships make me feel less different. I can relate on a whole another level. Some passages are libel to break me open. Like this one

Tell me about your mother?
My mother? Like what about her?
"No one had ever asked Neena such things before and she felt her heartbelt climbing. Where to even begin with her mother's habit of hunching over the kitchen table cramming her mouth with Argo starch her shoulder blades like knife points pushing through her paisley robe; or the stark look of Freeda's eyes when she was too happy, unsustainable such happiness was, and it was as if her dark eyes understood that and refused to play along"

The yearning confusing. Yearning for what? To finally be filled with a feeling that was larger than that of being a motherless daughter. Was there a feeling larger, or just another kind of shattering.

Two fiction and one non fiction title where mental illness is the focus

I Know this much is true- Wally Lamb Twin brothers, one is mentally ill

72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell - A mother must cope with a mentally ill daughter. It's fiction though the authors daughter did suffer from mental illness. I loved this book

Rescuing Patty Hearst by Virginia Holman - A memoir about a daughter's growing up with a mentally ill mother. I loved this book, someone put a voice to my fears and longing.

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