The words in the title of this post appear with frequency in Mira Bartók's memoir The Memory Palace, a first-person narrative about growing up with a schizophrenic mother.
Occasionally, the author varies the sentence by writing "This creature is my mother."
A sad book?
Not really — even though the author's mother, formerly a piano prodigy, deteriorates mentally over the years until she lives the last seventeen years of her life as a homeless person.
In some ways, the book is an indictment of our mental health system. That indictment, however, is not the main theme of this excellent memoir.
Never underestimate the power of family love.
In the end, Ms. Bartók discovers that mother-daughter love can transcend some of the worst imaginable trials of life. After nearly two decades of estrangement, forgiveness and reconciliation arrive as the two daughters rescue their mother and sit next to their mother's bedside in her final days as she loses her battle with cancer.
I highly recommend this book!
To learn more about the book and the author, read THIS BOOK REVIEW in the New York Times, and visit the web site The Memory Palace.
The Memory Palace is a breathtaking literary memoir about the complex meaning of love, truth, and the capacity for forgiveness among family. Through stunning prose and original art created by the author in tandem with the text, The Memory Palace explores the connections between mother and daughter that cannot be broken no matter how much exists—or is lost—between them.