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Swallow the Ocean: A Memoir by Laura M.…
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Swallow the Ocean: A Memoir

by Laura M. Flynn

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So-so memoir of growing up with a mother who was paranoid schizophrenic. Her father left and wasn’t able to get custody for several years. She does a good job of describing daily life with her mom and sisters, her mom’s many restrictions based on paranoid delusions, and the girls' ambivalence about wanting to get away and live with their dad. A running theme about a story the sisters make up about their dolls who are captives and the dolls' schemes to escape became a bit tiresome.

I had a lot of questions that didn't get answered: How did they learn to live "normal" lives where people have clean houses and don't have arbitrary restrictions on what they can eat? How has her childhood affected her life now - was she able to cast off much of the abuse, or does it haunt her? When her mother rammed her father's car after he got custody, did anyone press charges? (It didn't sound like it - why wasn't she prosecuted?) And finally, why do the girls still maintain contact with their mother? People I know who have relatives with this kind of intractable mental disease seem happy to have them out of their lives. I know it's complicated, but... ( )
  piemouth | Jan 26, 2015 |
I couldn't stop reading this memoir about a girl growing up with a schizophrenic mother. I have 3 big final projects due in the next week and I just couldn't stop reading. very, very good. ( )
  lalalibrarian | Sep 6, 2008 |
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Traces the author's coming of age under the shadow of her mother's paranoid schizophrenia, a disorder that ended her parents' marriage and caused the author to be raised in accordance with her mother's distorted perceptions of the world.

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