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Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father - an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist - who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.
Mailhot trusts us to understand that memory isn't exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 05-03-18
Dark, Poetic, Gripping
Heart Berries is unique not only in its subject matter, but also its style and structure. Mailhot has the soul of a poet and the mind of a fighter. She writes in stream of consciousness with a non linear plot. While gritty and brutally honest at times, there is also a lot of humor which illustrates the rich and complex person she is. While short in length, it’s not a fast read and definitely deserves a re-read for all the subtle details I probably missed the first time around. I highly recommend!
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