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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Madness and Me: My Search for Sanity by Lisa Suzanne Nugent is a memoir that looks back at her troubled past characterized by abuse from an unstable parent. In this memoir, the author revisits the early years of her life and what it was like to live with a mother who abused them. She was paranoid, eccentric, and verbally violent. The author looks at the relationship with her mother and, in a voice filled with love and compassion, chronicles her healing journey, the power of forgiveness and acceptance, and shows readers how she transitioned from an anxious, shy, and troubled child into someone capable of self-love, filled with a deep sense of inner freedom, and the ability to love in spite of the odds.
From the start of the narrative, the reader is introduced to the disturbing state of mind of the protagonist’s mother, someone often described as “crazy, psycho, mental, nuts, manic and schizoid” and many such derogatory labels. And the author dares to ask: “The ‘unwell’ stamp on my mum’s forehead was fixed long ago. It sinks ever deeper with every maddening year, and all the medications and treatments she’s received have either been ineffective or, worse, served only to uphold the mark. So why has the title ‘mad’ been assigned to my mum?” This is a story of love, one that shows the author’s courage to love and see a real mother where others would see a monster.
Madness and Me: My Search for Sanity is a riveting story that follows the journey of a young girl who learns to come to grips with her story and to embrace the one person in her life for who she truly is, without fear and without shame. Lisa Suzanne Nugent writes in a voice that is compelling and demonstrates lessons of love and compassion, and she does so in a style that is unique and with humor that unexpectedly makes the reader laugh.