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Entwined: Sisters and Secrets in the Silent…

Entwined: Sisters and Secrets in the Silent World of Artist Judith Scott

by Joyce Wallace Scott

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    Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal by Karl Schonborn (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Memoirs of growing up in the 1940s-1950s, when facial differences and disabilities were not well accepted.

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed this book. I was not familiar with Judith Scott before reading this book. She was a remarkable person and so is her twin sister. Just reading about all that Judith went through because she was born with Down Syndrome, back when people with disabilities were institutionalized.

I have read books before about the institutionalization of the disabled and the horror stories I read then were just as bad in this book. Judith and Joyce are twins and are separated when Joyce starts school. To have your sister taken from you because she is different is not something a young child should have to go through.

To read about all that Judith was able to accomplish when she was treated the way she was in the institutions. She never let that stop her from being the happy person she always was. I remember the first time I was exposed to a child with Downs Syndrome and she shaped me into wanting to work with special needs people. To think our society was so narrow minded back then and some still think that way.

I am now going to look for Judith Scott's art work and other writings about her if available. ( )
  crazy4reading | Jul 15, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I just read Entwined by Joyce Wallace Scott. In almost one sitting. It is a beautiful, moving story of twin sisters, separated at age 7 by society's shaming, misguided understanding of Down Syndrome. Years later Joyce petitions the courts to become her sister Judith's legal guardian and then, in her unending love, tries to fill Judy's life with activity and acceptance. Due to Joyce's compassion, Judith discovers an untapped gift for contemporary art at the Creative Growth Art Center and over time becomes an internationally recognized artist. There is so much more to this story, filled with pain and love and humor. Some books get high ratings for the beauty of the words; this one gets high marks for the beauty of the story, for the love. Totally recommended! 5.0 ( )
6 vote Berly | Feb 10, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was about the author's journey to keep her relationship with her twin close, and to take care of her forever. She runs into a full personal life which takes her away from her goal, but eventually, she is able to find the care and help she needs for her disabled twin.
  pegee101 | Sep 2, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Heartbreakingly sad and exquisitely beautiful. How these two descriptions can coexist is something to think about, but that is how I felt after reading this wonderful book. Two female fraternal twins, born into a time where very little was known of Downs's syndrome nor what those born with it would be capable of in life. Judith and Joyce, together bonding for their first seven years and then one morning Joyce wakes up and her sister is gone. Seems it was a common thing for doctors to tell parents how profoundly retarded these children would be and recommend institutionalizing these children. Joyce would spend many years, feeling like something was always missing, trying to find where she fit in life, make mistakes and eventually making the move that, later in adulthood would see the return of Judy.

This book is told with honestly, and simplicity, two things that made this book so stirring. Revelations about Judy's condition that may have helped when she was younger, learning to forgive her mother and leaving one filled with awe about the resiliency of sisterhood and family.
Judy in an effort to process the places she found herself, bereft of family except for occasional visits, creates art. Meaningful art, one considered outsider art, but that now resides in many museums and collections. Her own brilliant form of self expression.

The book itself is beautiful, indigo blue with a piece of Judy's artwork on the cover, the title made from the string she uses. The pictures inside give us a glimpse of her and her family's later lives. In one she is hugging this huge cocoon of string that she made and it gives me the shiver looking at it.
The last paragraph of the last chapter fills me with wonder, everyone interested in art or the treatment of those who were considered handicapped will love this book. Read it and see.

ARC from librarything. ( )
1 vote Beamis12 | Aug 17, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Few times in my life can I claim to be speechless and really mean it! This is one of those times. The lives of these two remarkable women will affect you forever.

Joyce Wallace Scott wrote this heart-wrenching memoir to honor her beloved twin sister, Judith. Judy was born with Down's Syndrome and developed Scarlet Fever as an infant that left her with undiagnosed deafness. Judy, unable to respond to verbal test questions, was thought to be severely retarded with an IQ of 30 and without the ability to live a meaningful life. At 7 years old, under the advice of doctors, she was made a ward of the State of Ohio and discarded like a factory reject. Judy was taken away in the dead of night without any warning to her twin, Joyce, and warehoused for 35 years in the most inhumane circumstances.

The first seven years of their childhood, Judy and Joyce were bonded in a voiceless communion. Too young to understand the cold and seemingly heartless parenting of their mother, Joyce became more than a twin by accepting the role of guardian and caregiver to Judy. With the abrupt severing of their union, Joyce, over the next 35 years, struggled with the ever present loss of "her other self". As young child, Joyce's visits to Judy are heartbreaking as she has to continuously beg an adult to take her.

In her search for a way to fill the void, Joyce makes several bad personal decisions, one that results in abandonment by her mother at a time in her life she needed her most. Despite all of her own pain, Joyce never loses sight of Judy's loveless circumstances.
As an adult, Joyce takes action to become Judith's guardian welding the two hearts together again. In seeking the best board and care arrangement for Judy, Joyce also learns about Creative Growth Art Center, where adults with disabilities are given free reign to express themselves in the arts. Judy slow rolled into the program but when she found her artistic medium she ignited.
In the last 18 years of her life, this lovely little woman found her voice using fiber art. No one understood Judy's language or what inspired her work but everyone can feel the message emotionally and visually. Although Judy died in 2005, her silent art can be heard in museums all over the world long after her death.

I find it impossible to describe the resilience and strength these twins revealed throughout their lives. I highly recommend this memoir be added to every library collection and would make a superb book club choice. ( )
  Itzey | Aug 16, 2016 |
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For my Judy, and all those whose talents and gifts are not yet realized.
For Creative Growth, where Judy discovered hers. May such places spring up everywhere around the world and all of us be blessed.
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Preface - The sheet is cold - - cold all the way to the edge.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807051403, Hardcover)

The remarkable story of “outsider” artist Judith Scott, who was institutionalized for more than thirty years before being rescued by her sister

From birth, fraternal twins Judith and Joyce Scott lived as if they were one person in two bodies, understanding instinctively what the other wanted and felt, despite the fact that Judy had Down syndrome, profound deafness, and never learned to speak or sign. But this idyllic childhood of color, texture, and feeling ended abruptly when, at age seven, Judy was taken from their shared bed while Joyce slept, not knowing that the wholeness they had known was being shattered.

For the next three decades, Joyce is left without her other half and must grieve unexpected loss while navigating her relationship with an emotionally distant mother—alone. Even so, her life parallels her twin’s in surprising ways. While in college, Joyce too is sent away, pressured to relinquish the secret daughter she bore in hiding to adoption.

Decades later, Joyce resolves to reunite with her sister and fill their remaining years with joy. After winning the struggle to become Judy’s legal guardian, she enrolls her in an art center for adults with disabilities in Oakland, California. Judy is hesitant at first, but after two years of uninterested painting and drawing, her untapped creativity suddenly ignites when she is introduced to fiber art, and she begins carefully and intentionally winding yarn and other materials around found objects. With unflagging intensity, Judy works five days a week for the next eighteen years, producing more than two-hundred astoundingly diverse fiber sculptures. Unconcerned with her growing fame, she remains fully immersed in her artistic vision until her death in 2005. Today, Judith Scott’s work is displayed in museums and galleries around the world, in some of the most prestigious collections of contemporary art.

Entwined is a penetrating personal narrative that explores a complex world of disability, loss, reunion, and the resiliency of the human spirit. Part memoir, part biography, it’s a poignant and astonishing story about the art of embracing life.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 03 May 2016 13:09:14 -0400)

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