Monday, July 11, 2011

The Long Journey Home + GIVEAWAY

You know.. it's been a few days since my last book review and so I have one ready to go for you today. Come back tomorrow for a MUST READ. <--- don't pee yourself with excitement.

The Long Journey Home by Margaret Robison The Long Journey Home: A Memoir

First introduced to the world in her sons’ now-classic memoirs—Augusten Burroughs’s Running with Scissors and John Elder Robison’s Look Me in the Eye—Margaret Robison now tells her own haunting and lyrical story. A poet and teacher by profession, Robison describes her Southern Gothic childhood, her marriage to a handsome, brilliant man who became a split-personality alcoholic and abusive husband, the challenges she faced raising two children while having psychotic breakdowns of her own, and her struggle to regain her sanity.

Robison grew up in southern Georgia, where the fa├žade of 1950s propriety masked all sorts of demons, including alcoholism, misogyny, repressed homosexuality, and suicide. She met her husband, John Robison, in college, and together they moved up north, where John embarked upon a successful academic career and Margaret brought up the children and worked on her art and poetry. Yet her husband’s alcoholism and her collapse into psychosis, and the eventual disintegration of their marriage, took a tremendous toll on their family: Her older son, John Elder, moved out of the house when he was a teenager, and her younger son, Chris (who later renamed himself Augusten), never completed high school. When Margaret met Dr. Rodolph Turcotte, the therapist who was treating her husband, she felt understood for the first time and quickly fell under his idiosyncratic and, eventually, harmful influence.

I can't really tell you much about this book without giving critical parts of her story away. I will tell you that this was a pretty fascinating book about a woman suffering from pretty awful mental health issues during a time in our society when it was even more frowned upon. In current times if you have a person who is depressed we treat them right away and we don't think twice. Back then, it was often ignored and viewed as shameful and sometimes it's a precursor to something far worse, which is pretty much what happened to the author.

What I also found really interesting was the really unhealthy, borderline terrifying, and basically abusive relationship with her own therapist, Dr. Turcotte. After reading the book I decided to do some light Google research on him and truly- that guy had some pretty serious issues. I don't think he should have ever been working with patients with such sensitive needs as Margaret's. It kind of makes me wonder if mental health care has truly evolved or not, patients are still drugged- oftentimes against their will like Margaret.

I will admit that several times through the book I feel angered for her but also at her. To say that she had a difficult life would be a great understatement but I really enjoyed reading about her struggle. I would honestly say that if you've struggled with mental health, an abusive relationship, the struggles of motherhood, or questioned your sexuality -- this book is definitely for you.

Basically, this was a pretty interesting book. I did find it a bit slow in some parts and some areas I didn't feel were very relevant to the story as a whole, but all in all it was a good read.

One of my blog readers (US/Canada only) will get a chance to win a copy of this book for your very own. All I need you to do is leave me a comment (you must be a follower via Google Friend Connect) by Thursday, July 15. I will announce a winner on Friday.

I also encourage you to check out Margaret's website!


Anonymous said...

I can't imagine having a mentally ill family member in the "old days" - it would have been truly horrible.

Thanks for being on the tour!

asj said...

looks like an interesting book AND I can't wait for the review tomorrow!

Ashley said...

Oooo this book sounds very very interesting!

Cherie said...

Ooh sounds interesting. I want to read!

Anonymous said...

I think this would be a great read! Especially since my degree is in psychology. Now give it to be baby! :)

Veronica M. D. said...

OMG, I have been DYING to read this book!!!!!

Josie said...

That sounds like a very interesting read. Sign me up!

Amy said...

I'm in for the giveaway. I am fascinated by true stories of other peoples lives. It would also be nice to see how someone rode the crazy train in those days.

Tammy B said...

Long time reader, first time commenter! I want to read this book! I love a good "based on a true story".