Pearl's Reviews > Reading My Father: A Memoir

Reading My Father by Alexandra Styron
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's review
Jan 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: books-on-cd, biographies
Read from January 04 to 09, 2012

Alexandra Styron did a wonderful job with this book, writing what it was like growing up as William Styron's daughter, and the youngest of four children. The book deals with Styron's success as a writer, but also describes the husband and father, and a man dealing with mental illness. A successful writer, devoted son and man of many friends, Styron is far from being the devoted and caring father/husband.

As the much younger 4th child, her older silbings out of the house at college, she actually grew up as an only child, experiencing her father as none of her siblings had. Although you do not get the feeling that it was an easy time for her, she does not in any way have a complaining voice. She recognizes that her father's writing came first in his life, but writing about her mother and father's childhoods and early years together her admiration and love for them comes through.

Her description of a family dealing with mental illness is so real that you really hurt for them, while admiring them for their strength and closeness. Anyone who has dealt with the mental health community will agree with her opinion regarding the need for changes in the environment that patients are expected to recover and the support for families who are the caregivers. The families closeness and support of each other during the time when WS was experiencing his mental illness epsoides was admirable.

This is a book worth reading, for both the writing and the story.

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Reading Progress

01/04/2012 "listening on tape"

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