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Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness
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Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  812 ratings  ·  142 reviews
The Close sisters are descended from very prominent and wealthy ancestors. When the Close sisters were very young, their parents joined a cult called the MRA, or Moral Rearmament. The family was suddenly uprooted to a cult school in Switzerland and, ultimately, to the Belgian Congo where their father became a surgeon in the war-ravaged republic, and ultimately the personal ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  812 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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Sherry Joiner
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Over the weekend, I finished reading Resilience: Two Sisters And a Story Of Mental Illness by Jessie Close with Pete Earley. The story delivered a powerful message for those who face a life long struggle with reality, addiction, and Bipolar Disorder. I have a deep appreciation for Jessie's story. Her struggle has been doubly difficult because the love she sought from her father has been heartbreaking and discomforting. A light shines through when she takes care of her son who has schizoaffective ...more
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it
A harrowing and honest story about mental illness that needs to be told. I greatly enjoy Jessie's voice. She's articulate and has a dry sense of humor which I liked.

My one observation is that her tremendous connection to wealth and privilege makes her very different from the average reader. She always had a lot of money, connections and relatives to support her and access to the best mental health care due to family connections. Her struggles are no less impactful to the reader but the last thi
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, reviewed
"It must be remembered that for the person with severe mental illness who has no treatment, the most dreaded confinements can be imprisonment inflicted by his own mind, which shuts reality out and subjects him to the torment of voices and images beyond our powers to describe." ~ Anthony M. Kennedy (US Supreme Court Justice)

"Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness" is a vivid stunning portrayal of both individual and family life impacted by serious mental illness. Jessie Close, sist
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
I don't understand why people write books about themselves that only show the mistakes, disappointments, failures and repeated bad behaviors. Mental illness took a backseat in this book. It was a very uncomfortable read.
Mar 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, mental-health
I admired Glenn Close after reading this book.

Though it was interesting, I did not think the book was well written. It often seemed as though I was reading the diary of a teenager. The author's story became tedious as I lost track of the men she chased and the alcohol she drank. Blaming her father for some of her problems (while probably true) did not seem overly helpful, especially since, as she wrote, "Some of my memories will inevitably not jibe with other people's memories, especially those
Sharon Huether
I won this Free book through Goodreads First-reads. This book was a real eye-opener to mental health. The impact on children, husbands family and friends and the healing with the correct medication; that takes many trials and errors to get the right dosage. Jessie with the help of her sister Glenn Close founded a group "Bring Change 2 Mind" to educate the public about this disease. A heart felt story.
Carrie-Anne O'Driscoll
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
As a volunteer crisis advocate for victims of sexual assault and child abuse I have struggled to understand why people do the things they do. In the law enforcement academy, we had crisis training on how to deal with the mentally ill. However, there simply isn't enough time study or understand the various conditions. This book has done a better job at making me understand the individuals that have the illness.
I applaud Jessie's willingness to open up in a public forum about her past. That is n
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
I had a really hard time deciding what to rate this book. Even as I type, I keep switching. First of all, no one should have ever, ever let Close read for the audiobook. Like mine, her voice is whiny and irritating. (This trend of authors reading their own books is getting old.) Aside from her voice, I found it very, very difficult to connect with the writer because of how insanely privileged she is. I applaud her courage in writing about her own struggles, but the constant referring to her trus ...more
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, adult
Some stories need to be told and retold until society begins to understand them. Resilience is yet another memoir of lives touched by severe mental illness, and it is told well. It is also a story of how mental illness can be hidden, ignored, or simply disguised for a very long time before it is finally addressed.

E. Fuller Torrey wrote a very moving and helpful account of his family's experience in his book, Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Consumers, and Providers. Long before D
Apr 08, 2015 rated it liked it
It was probably unnecessary to include actress Glenn Close as a co-author. While her fame and charitable efforts supporting those with mental illness lend some credibility to her sister, the author, they do not advance the story. Jessie Close has a compelling tale that tracks her life in a dysfunctional family as well as her constant battle with extreme mental illness. Her chaotic childhood with distant, distracted parents would be enough to scar any child, much less one with brain chemistry tha ...more
Interesting story that shines a light on how mental illness affects a person's life especially when they don't know they have a mental illness. I'm sure it was very frustrating for Jessie and her son not knowing why they were acting the way they were acting.
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio
2.5 stars. Listened to this book. My rating was raised from 2 to 2.5 because the ending held my attention more than the earlier chapters the story of mental illness in a family was fascinating but at times it dragged. I was not a huge fan of the author as the reader.
Apr 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I have to admit that as much as I was looking forward to reading this book - I was equally if not more disappointed in Jessie Close' s story.

Her version of events and how she views mental illness seems skewed because of her wealthy upbringing.

Maybe if she hadn't been a trust fund baby and hadn't felt so dirty for herself or that she had been abandoned by her parents and raised by nannies and sent to boarding school and maybe if someone had been paying closer attention and noticed the "obvious" s
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable story of courage and dedication to make it through the darkness of mental disease. Jessie Close has bravely opened her life to examination to raise the awareness for others.

For so long, this issue has been avoided/stigmatized and Jessie's writing is part of a valient effort to raise awareness and make us talk about mental health. People who suffer from depression, schizophrenia and other issues are not monsters.

I love this book for the discussion it can inspire and the awareness of
Mar 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I listened to more than half of this book on audio CD. After that, I couldn't take it any more. Not only was Jessie Close's voice unpleasant, her story was boring and repetitive. Perhaps because I was raised by a mother with undiagnosed bipolar disorder, I have little sympathy and no patience for someone like Jessie who did not seek help sooner, especially after her children were born. Intellectually, I understand that mental illness is likely due to some chemical imbalance. But emotionally, it ...more
Claire Barfell
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I felt so sorry for Jessie and her son. I never really understood the symptoms of mental illness and the stigma attached to it. This book really opened my eyes as to what terrible ordeals the mentally ill endure. Jessie is so brave and honest to tell the details of her life. We should never judge others or put a label on them. Unless we walk in their shoes, we have no idea what they are going through. I think society needs to read books like this so that we can have empathy for this kind of illn ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
My university's diversity committee sponsors an annual common reader, and this year we chose Resilience because of its compelling call to remove stigma from mental illness....not only that, but to give college-aged people the vocabulary and action tool-box to interact with peers who may feel isolated or unwelcome. I found the writing honest and raw despite a slow start when it seemed the editing was trying to collapse too much back story in at the front end. Important and timely, especially know ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-health
A great read to help you understand mental illness that can run in families for generations. This is what happened in the Close family which gives us a face along with knowledge and acceptance. I thoroughly enjoyed every word written be Jessie Close and her sister Glenn.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thank you for the gift of this book and the courage of an honest portrayal of mental illness.
Jan Cole
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Talk about honest. Jessie Close, younger sister to Glen Close is to be commended for sharing the pain she suffered with bipolar disorder in order to advocate for those who suffer with mental illness.

The book is divided into several parts. The first part details her unorthodox upbringing with parents who got involved with a strange religious cult at the children's expense. The second part deals with un-medicated or "self-medicated" Jessie as her illness begins manifesting itself in her young
Mimi Fintel
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a memoir by Jessie Close, sister to Glen Close. In her twenties, Jessie developed bipolar disorder although she wasn't diagnosed until the age of fifty. Jessie's early life was difficult because her family spent many years in the Moral Re-Armament cult. Jessie spent her childhood in New York, Switzerland, Connecticut, Zaire and California. Because of her problematic childhood, Jessie was a teen out of control. She turned to drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. As she became an adult and ...more
Patricia Ann
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was awarded to me by GoodReads. I admire Jessie Close for her disclosure of the struggles she endured in dealing with her bipolar disorder. I admire Jessie Close and Pete Earley in writing a book that contributed to understanding symptoms of the disorder itself while holding the attention and interest of the reader. I personally wanted the book to address further the stigmatization of mental illness and the need for further research re the causes and treatment of mental illness. The bo ...more
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
feels awkward to say you didn't much like such a personal book in which someone is revealing profound long-term struggles with bipolar disorder, exacerbated by severe alcohol abuse. Nevertheless, didn't enjoy it much. I gather she's a writer, and perhaps her stories for kids are great, but writing about herself is a different matter.

Alcohol and mental illness and chaotic upbringing are not conducive to stable relationships, and she gives the blow by blow at great length. An impulsively-entered,
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Must-Read Memoir!! With heartfelt candor, the author and speaker, Jessie Close reveals her life's struggle with bipolar disorder. From her childhood growing up within a religious cult and her detached, neglectful parents to her five tormenting marriages and having a child also afflicted by mental illness, this personal, soul-baring book is aptly named ~ RESILIENCE.

Ms. Close was able to overcome so many obstacles in her life and still have HOPE. So many times in the book, it felt as through sh
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the memoir of a woman with undiagnosed/untreated bipolar disorder with psychotic features for most of her life. Shockingly, this woman, blessed with well-educated parents (her father was a physician)and plenty of monetary support (large trust fund) wasn't diagnosed until she was well in her fifties! It is a brave and honest story. I found the most interesting part, however, was the struggles of her now grown son, Calen. He was diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder (kind of a combinatio ...more
Claudia Mundell
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don’t know if a book is good if it is full of drugs, alcoholism, and self-destruction, but this book has added honesty, growth, information and a happy ending to those features too. I get tired of memoirs that tell so many down things and Jessie Close tells a great deal about her self-destructive behavior. However, she moves the story right along and never stoops to self-pitying nor does she dodge accepting responsibility for her actions.

By sticking with her, the reader learns a great deal ab
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Resilience is about a woman dealing with mental illness. Her sister is Glen Close. Jessie Close writes a very honest gut wrenching book about dealing with her mental illness Bi-polar or manic depression. She writes of growing up with a family that has lived around the world. How her mental illness has affected her. She has been through five marriages. time spent in mental health buildings trying to get better. She has three children by two fathers the oldest having a mental illness of his own. J ...more
Misty Lee
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was given an ARC copy for an honest review This is such a wonderful and touching well written Memoir. From page one to the end this book heart strings and refuses let go! I truly enjoyed reading this!
Dot Heimer
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book has made me understand individuals that have the illness and how this runs in families and often not treated or understood.
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recent article in WebMD magazine mentioned this book. Read it in 2 days, couldn't put it down.
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Jessie Close is an internationally recognized speaker, author, poet and advocate for mental health reform. She lives with bipolar disorder in the foothills of the Tobacco Root Mountains outside Bozeman, Montana with her Service Dog, Snitz, and three other dogs. She is the author of The Warping of Al, (Harper & Row 1990) and she writes a regular blog for Bring Change 2 Mind, an anti-stigma organiza

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