Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell

72 Hour Hold

by Bebe Moore Campbell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3011137,236 (3.53)6

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This book is a very thinly fictionalized account of dealing with a child who, in her late teen, is stricken with bi-polar disease. The late Bebe Moore Campbell's own daughter, Maia Campbell suffers with the illness. She was arrested earlier this year in the Atlanta area for disorderly behavior consistent with manic depression and with drug use. I chose to read the book this month as a memorial of sorts to one of my dearest friends who died 5 years ago of systemic illnesses which grew out of his bi-polar disease. For what its worth the book gave me some space to remember my beloved friend, and that was a good thing.

There were other good things about 72 Hour Hold. The book discusses frankly the extra stigma placed on mental illness in the African American community. I have discussed this with friends in the past, and I am glad to see anything that takes this issue out of the closet. It also addresses the narrow space African American people have to act "crazy" without ending up dead or in prison. Last month, less than 10 minutes from my house, Atlanta police shot to death a mentally ill Black man who was running around naked (so clearly unarmed) unmistakably in the midst of a psychotic episode. I think it is true that it would not have happened had it been an adult child of one of my White neighbors. The White person would have been subdued and evaluated, not shot. Again, an important issue that Campbell handled well.

Unfortunately, the story here shot out in all sorts of direction, spent pages and chapters on things that were not central and not interesting (everything about the main character's store, her regrets about her marriage, her employees, her boyfriend and his kids.) I am not saying that aspects of the main character's life that were not related to her daughter's illness should have been excised, but they should have been treated as background, and the were not. I was also annoyed with the constant references to slavery. Overseers and plantations have nothing to do with this. I get the metaphor, I get that she was "enslaved" by the cruel disease, but the extended metaphor did not work. When my loved ones are stricken with disease, its not like I make concentration camp comparisons. It is demeaning to actual slaves to equate these things, and also it is just inapposite. It pissed me off a little. There were other less irritating metaphors, the beautiful suit with a little spot that won't come out shows up a lot. Again, a bad metaphor, but less annoying. I should also note that I thought all the characters other than Kari lacked dimension.

One final note: I read this book and got the audiobook as well to listen in the car. The audiobook is terrible. The reader, who has a beautiful voice perfectly suited to late night soul radio stations or phone sex lines, seems to have no idea what she is reading. She places emphasis on words and syllables that should not have been emphasized. She uses an almost jolly tone when talking about Trina's outbursts and dangerous behaviors, like she is telling someone about a fried who got a little too drunk at a party. It is really terrible. It is not as terrible as this weird sing-song thing she occasionally slips into or her habit of over enunciating, pronouncing each syllable as if it is a new word. Worst of all though are the voices she gave to characters. Bethany sounds like a cross between Marge Simpson's sisters, Selma and Patty, and Bette Davis in her post stroke years. Brad, a pasty khaki wearing white guy, sounds like a barrel chested, respectful but slightly dim Black man. The doctors voices are the funniest. The best is the British therapist who sounds like a 1980's American computer voice and the (Asian) Indian doctor who sounds like a crazed West Indian Voodoo Priest. Its funny for a moment, but it became unlistenable. I ended up taking the audio back to the library about half way through and just reading the book.

If you are going to check out this book do NOT get the audio. And if you just want a book about families dealing with the onset of mental illness, you many want to check out some of the other excellent books on the topic. This is not a complete waste of time, but its not nearly as good as it should be. ( )
  Narshkite | Jun 2, 2015 |
This is not a story about drug addiction. It is a story about bipolar disorder. The narrator is a single mother who must cope when her formerly bright and promising daughter starts showing signs of bipolar disorder as a teenager. The narrator must accept that her daughter's bright future is gone and she will be lucky simply to survive. Bipolar is a trendy diagnoses these days, and it seems "everyone" has it. However, in reality, true bipolar disorder is very rare and very debilitating. Doctors would do well to stop applying the diagnoses to anyone and everyone who gets a little naturally sad and moody because such an abuse of the diagnoses leads to ignorance about how serious real bipolar is. The best thing about this book is that it reveals a true case of bipolar disorder. When the narrator's daughter is in a manic phase, she really is manic and maniacal. At her worst, she cannot function in society and must be institutionalized on strong medications, (which is incredibly different from all the people who are misdiagnosed as bipolar in the real world yet go to work and easily find relief with a fad antidepressant.) The most valuable aspect of this book is the author's revelation of what real bipolar is like for its victims--both the patient and the family.

As a novel, this book is lacking. The writing is not that great nor is it inviting. In fact, towards the end, the story gets ridiculously unbelievable as the mother "kidnaps" her daughter and gets involved with an underground railroad style, grass roots group that claims it can help bipolar patients with intense experimental therapy.

So to summarize, this book is great for revealing a true case of bipolar disorder rather than the watered down misdiagnoses we see every day. However, the writing is blah and the outcome of the story is completely unbelievable. I wish the author had found a better way to express the horrors of bipolar disorder. ( )
  MaryWysong | Dec 12, 2010 |
I heard this book was kind of based on her own struggles with her daughter, but not really. It was still a heartbreaking story about addiction. As someone who likes happy endings, this was a start reminder that drug addiction is a beast! This story was sad for me, but I certainly gained a healthy respect for families dealing with this issue ( )
1 vote Ezinwanyi | Oct 8, 2010 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Campbell tackles the tough issue of mental illness with a sense of realness and you can tell the book is written from personal experience. The heartache of dealing with a family memeber who is suffering is evident. The ups and downs of mental illness are apparent. It's well written and, as always, her voice is so entertaining. ( )
1 vote Toyi | Apr 23, 2009 |
As I work supporting individuals with varying disabilities some even having a mental illness I could relate to a lot of what was being said.

Often times a mental illness is looked at as Taboo people don't want to admit they have a mental illness never mind there child does.

I felt Bebe Moore Campbell did a great job of showing what it is truly like for a mother to fight the battle of helping her daughter get help for her mental illness, while dealing with others views of the illness and fighting her ex-husband who feels that their daughter is not sick while fighting her own battle of guilt.

Bebe Moore Campbell tells a story that pulls you and has you pulling for Keri, a mother with a mission she is going to help her daughter no matter what it takes. Keri goes as far as getting help from a group that takes any means necessary to help an individual with a mental illness even as going as far as kidnapping them.

From the beginning you root for Keri to get the help for her daughter Trinia. 72 Hour Hold definitely shows people that a mother will do anything to help her child even when her child curses her and calls her the devil and hits her. 72 Hour Hold absolutely demonstrates the saying that a mother will always love her child no matter what. ( )
1 vote bgale11 | Feb 8, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

--Leonard Cohen, Anthem
To Nancy, Lynn, JoHelen, Bunny, Linda, Judy, and mamacita Rosina. Y'all some baaad sistuhs. To Sharon Dunas for showing us the way. And to all the members of NAMI-Inglewood: Be Blessed.
First words
Right before the devastation, I had a good day.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"In this novel of family and redemption, a mother struggles to save her eighteen-year-old daughter from the devastating consequences of mental illness. Trina suffers from bipolar disorder, making her paranoid, wild, and violent. Watching her child turn into a bizarre stranger, Keri searches for assistance through normal channels. She quickly learns that a seventy-two hour hold is the only help you can get when an adult child starts to spiral out of control. After three days, Trina can sign herself out of any program." "Fed up with the bureaucracy of the mental health community and determined to save her daughter by any means necessary, Keri signs on for an illegal intervention. The Program is a group of radicals who eschew the psychiatric system and model themselves after the Underground Railroad. When Keri puts her daughter's fate in their hands, she begins a journey that has her calling on the spirit of Harriet Tubman for courage. In the upheaval that follows, she is forced to confront a past that refuses to stay buried, even as she battles to secure a future for her child."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
9 avail.
16 wanted
3 pay4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.53)
1 1
2 10
3 20
3.5 5
4 18
4.5 1
5 13


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,817,856 books! | Top bar: Always visible