Sally Wessely's Reviews > Reading My Father

Reading My Father by Alexandra Styron
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's review
May 15, 11

Read in May, 2011

The book is quite interesting and insightful, but as another review said, it is also a bit of an uneven read. Even so, it is worth reading to gain insight into the life of William Styron, his illness, and the effect that mental illness had on those who watch their loved ones suffer.

Sadly, mental illness impacts the entire family in profound, lasting ways. William Styron would never win any awards for his ability to parent, but his family rallied around him and his battle with his many illnesses and demons with great dedication and love. He himself said that the idea of supporting the same ideas on 'family values' as Barbara Bush would make his family hoot. He then went on to quote Barbara Bush when he said, "Family means putting your arms around each other and being there." "This," he said was the only consideration which had value on that day of the beginning of my own rebirth."

He was fortunate to have the family that he had. While he might never have given his daughter the recognition she deserves, he was fortunate to have a daughter who through much research, and by digging deep into the painful parts of being the daughter of this brilliant, gifted, troubled man, was able to give us, her readers, a glimpse into his life and her's as his daughter. I salute her for doing this great work of 'reading her father' and sharing the story with us.


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