Audrey Caldwell's Reviews > Madness: A Bipolar Life

Madness by Marya Hornbacher
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's review
Aug 11, 11

bookshelves: disabilities-and-disorders
read count: 1

Hornbacher has outdone herself. It is hard to understand mental illness, let alone to feel what it is to be in the psychotic mania and the deepest despair of bipolar disorder. But this book shows (not just tells) with surprising clarity what it is to be insane. It takes you into a mind of madness with true artistry of words that is not too abstract as to alienate you in this alien world yet fantastical enough to capture you: mind and all. The book is well balanced between events and explanation of what occurs within her mind throughout these events. It may feel as if the story is redundant toward the middle-end of the book, but it also feels intentional, showing what it is to experience a "chronic" illness: cyclical. You can truly see how this illness can devastate lives but also see what showing love and being a family really is. And coming to the end of the book, I realize how truly she speaks to the heart of anyone suffering from a chronic illness, whatever that may be; that their experiences and feelings about that illness are shared by others, because Honrbacher has given those feelings a voice.
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