THE MEMORY PALACE by Mira Bartók

PUB. INFO: Free Press, 8/11
GENRE: Nonfiction/Memoir
GRADE: B

From GoodReads.com: “ People have abandoned their loved ones for much less than you’ve been through,” Mira Bartók is told at her mother’s memorial service. It is a poignant observation about the relationship between Mira, her sister, and their mentally ill mother. Before she was struck with schizophrenia at the age of nineteen, beautiful piano protégé Norma Herr had been the most vibrant personality in the room. She loved her daughters and did her best to raise them well, but as her mental state deteriorated, Norma spoke less about Chopin and more about Nazis and her fear that her daughters would be kidnapped, murdered, or raped.

The Memory Palace is a breathtaking literary memoir about the complex meaning of love, truth, and the capacity for forgiveness among family. Through stunning prose and original art created by the author in tandem with the text, The Memory Palace explores the connections between mother and daughter that cannot be broken no matter how much exists—or is lost—between them.

MY THOUGHTS: It was really sad to read about a schizophrenic person and even harder to read about Norma dying from cancer. I can’t imagine what it was like for Mira and her older sister to have been raised by a mentally ill mother and absentee father, who’s got his own set of problems.

Though I enjoyed the book I felt it was a bit disjoined, with random stories and incidents told in no paticular order. I’d have preferred some sort of timeline.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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