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Changing My Mind: A Memoir

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  854 ratings  ·  118 reviews
In a love story that shocked the world, Margaret Trudeau became the youngest First Lady when at age 22 she married Pierre Trudeau, a man almost thirty years her senior and the 15th Prime Minister of Canada. Pierre Trudeau served from 1968 to 1979 during a critical time in Canadian and international politics and during her term as First Lady, Margaret travelled internationa ...more
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  854 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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 Sarah Lumos
While I enjoyed reading "Changing My Mind" , it was not what I expected. Since experiencing my own bout of sadness, I was searching for a memoir with an extensive focus on mental illness. I was drawn to this book because I thought Margaret Trudeau’s journey in the Canadian mental health care system would be insightful. While certain parts of this book were endearing, in my opinion, it focused less on mental illness and more on Margaret Trudeau’s experience as the Prime Minister’s wife.

Being 21
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Margaret Trudeau has been courageous in telling this story of her life. She is a woman who has had more fame and fortune than most of us could have in our wildest dreams. She has travelled the entire world, been hosted by the heads of state as a glamorous young First Lady, has had two marriages to kind, interesting men, given birth to four healthy, handsome sons and a lovely daughter. She has been in romances with movie stars, heirs to fortunes, rock stars, an exotic surfer dude and Senator Ted ...more
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Written in a straight forward manner, this is the story behind the story... and a look at bipolar disorder from the perspective of a woman whose behaviour was puzzling to most everyone who witnessed this period of Canadian history.
Margaret's sharing of her story brings mental illness a little further out of the 'closet', and illuminates how society and the medical community often misunderstand, mistreat, and mis-diagnose. Having lived through a major depressive episode myself, I was able to rela
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. While I give the author credit for telling her story, I found it to be far too much name dropping, and not enough substance. It seemed to be more about her life of privilege and provided little in the way of understanding her disease. Also I did not find her writing style to be very compelling but rather very superficial. Maybe three stars is a bit of a stretch.
I don’t mean to diminish her struggles but I was really hoping to gain some insight into the par
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Mme. Trudeau's book deserves a 4-star (I liked it) for the courage taken to confess the mess in her life caused by forces beyond her control - untreated mental or brain hormone disorder, her own moderate mental acuity and the pull of a man with his own (unprobed, it seems) mental "disorder", P. Trudeau, and that under the great treatment of Ottawa's Dr. Cameron, she found healing and stability. It deserves much less (1-star, didn't like it) because she makes too many attempts to give penetrating ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the stories about her life with Pierre and the kids. But otherwise found her to be annoying. It felt like she spent the first half of the book name dropping, and then the second half blaming Pierre for everything. Despite the fact that she repeatedly says she needs to stop blaming others for her problems. I wonder if there's a personality disorder along with the bipolar. ...more
Apr 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
I found Ms. Sinclair to be truly lacking in insight to her motivations and behaviours, even by the end of her story.

Her dissing of the Alcoholics Anonymous and the people in it showed her snobby shallowness. It served no real purpose for her to diss the members of an organization that has saved millions of lives, except to show how thoughtless she still is. So the meetings were in a part of town she wasn't comfortable with and the people there were not up to her high and mighty standards. What a
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Full disclosure, I am not a Margaret Trudeau fan. Perhaps that coloured my opinion of this biography. Perhaps I should say autobiography, because the “auto” part is on full display. I am sympathetic to the victims of mental illness. However Ms. Trudeau has benefitted from access to health care, financial support and business opportunities that few women have. So I have difficulty listening to her blame everything for her difficulties while taking credit for managing her recovery so well. I know ...more
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I liked reading about her marriage to Pierre Trudeau and some of the diplomatic things that happened during that time period. I also appreciated how she talked about her bipolar disorder, and was frank and candid about the dark periods and what happened to her.

Her love for her children really came through in this book.

I think that the book could have used some editing as she used the phrase "this was the happiest time in my life" about 8 times.

Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
A very honest account of living with bi polar illness. It was very straight forward and helpful in understanding this illness a little better. With all her ups and downs I found I really liked Margaret. A few very close people in my life suffer form this mental illness and I know every day is a struggle with the illness and with the stigma that surrounds it. It was very brave of Margaret to be so honest and to bare her soul. I am very glad that i read this book.
Sep 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
I didn't find this a compelling read at all. Maybe she just needed to make some money, so decided to write another book. It still seems like her insight into her condition is lacking, and I found some parts contradictory. I also agree that there was too much "Name dropping", and not enough of what I could say came across as true feelings. ...more
Rebecca Dorris
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
i enjoyed this way more than i thought i would. it was candid and honest - neither glamourizing nor downplaying the ups and downs of dealing with mental illness. i appreciated how she peppered her memoir with notes about what keeps her balanced. a good reminder that balance is a verb. she speaks of health and wellness in relation to the simple, yet often overlooked, needs we could all benefit from addressing - good nutrition, med management, fostering good relationships, exercise, meditation/spi ...more
Carli McDonald
Jan 24, 2021 rated it liked it
“Absolutely clear to me now was my obligation to break through the prejudice and myths, the lack of sympathy and understanding that surround people who suffer from mental illnesses.”

3.5 stars. “Changing My Mind” is a good read, written by an incredible woman on an important topic that is unfortunately hindered by a lack of focus in her writing. Throughout her memoir, Margaret Trudeau speaks freely and with brutal honesty about her experiences - making it very easy for the reader to understand t
Karen Stock
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Margaret Trudeau was the wife of the late Prime Minister Trudeau. I was only 11 when Trudeau married Margaret and I remember when Justin was born, and I remember that there was often scandolous talk of Margaret as the wife of the prime minister, but being so young didnt really understand or wasn't really interested.

Reading it now at an age I can understand I enjoyed it.I am not into politics etc but Margaret's writing style is easy to read. I did find it a bit repetitive at times. She must say
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I was looking for a quickie autobiography when I checked this out of the library but I found it quite engrossing to once again immerse myself in the life and times of the former Mrs. Trudeau. I'd read her previous book but Changing my Mind is told by someone who realizes and, most importantly, accepts that she has a mental illness. She unflinchingly acknowledges some of her past erratic behaviour and the impact it had on her husband and her family, she describes her harrowing hospitalizations, a ...more
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Margaret Trudeau's autobiography 'Changing My Mind' was a harrowing yet utterly compelling account of her roller-coaster ride as a 60s and 70s wild child, her unconventional marriage to the Canadian Prime Minister who she married when she was 22 and he was 51, her undetected bipolar disorder, the death of a loved son and much more. It seems so honest and confronting that I assume she actually wrote the book and it was not ghost written. And of course it is written from her perspective which is s ...more
Elaine Wakely
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
This was definitely not my favourite book... not even close. I really disliked all the name dropping and little remorse for essentially abandoning her kiddies with her husband and being a pretty crappy wife... and I'm from Alberta so one would think anything trashing Pierre Trudeau in the slightest would make me happy. This book did pretty much the opposite - I think maybe he was kinda cool (sorry - still can't forgive the NEP though).

In the last two or three chapters I my rating of this book i
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book was definitely a page-turner, even though I am not fascinated with Pierre Elliott Trudeau's life and entourage nor have I ever been. There's something about Margaret Trudeau that made me want to know more. She always seems so upbeat, yet was a PM's wife. She married P.E.T yet partied with some of the Rolling Stones and had an affair with Ted Kennedy. Her life was full of contrasts. For a big part of her life, she was lost and this is clearly explained and well detailed throughout the bo ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian-author
I was really young when Margaret Trudeau was frequently in the news, so I am glad read this book as an adult with a bit of life experience. I found the book gave in intimate look at the private life of Margaret Trudeau and her life before and after her marriage to Pierre Elliot Trudeau, but mostly the book is a frank first person perspectimve of the struggle of life with bipolar disease. I am sure this was a very difficult bbok for Ms. Trudeau to write, laying her deepest emotions for public con ...more
Kristine Scarrow
Aug 24, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was a quick and engrossing read. That being said, I was conflicted about it. While she is endearing in many aspects, I did feel that there was a lot of blame put on others rather than personal responsibility for her actions. At times I felt that there was little remorse for her erratic behavior and the effects it would have had on her children. As well, there were moments when I felt that she came across as snobbish and self-entitled.

That being said, I give her credit for being so can
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Margaret Trudeau’s book Changing My Mind is a biography of Margaret’s life which follows her journey and self-discovery as a woman and being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Margaret unabashedly describes her lowest moments of despair to her moments of self-realization all while being in the Canadian public eye. Margaret was the wife of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau from 1971 to 1984. She married Pierre when she was twenty-two years old and he was 51 and prime minister of Canada. Being in ...more
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book has some of the predictable elements that come with a memoir of a spouse of a famous person...state visits, meetings with very influential people, the feeling of being in someone's shadow, but I felt it was handled well. I also gleamed more history about Pierre Trudeau, a fascinating Prime Minister. The description of Margaret's experience living with her bi-polar was also interesting and a positive example of putting a face to this disorder. ...more
Erin Patterson
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Having someone close to me that suffers from Bipolar Disorder I found Margaret's journey to be a real eye opener. I hope going forward it helps me to be more patient and understanding to the plight of those inflicted with Bipolar Disorder. I enjoyed the content of the book but found it to be rather repetitive. ...more
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Simply astonishing! I experienced so many emotions while reading this biography. Margaret Trudeau was honest, open and unselfish in this book. I can't stop thinking about her and her life experiences. ...more
I had given this book to my mom as a gift many years ago and since she was purging her bookshelf, I took it home. I was too young to remember when Margaret and Pierre were married but I vaguely recall tidbits of her wild behaviour.

A friend of mine's dad was also manic/depressive and was treated with lithium. I remember the stories he told me of his father's up and down behaviour but not really understanding it. This book helps me understand more fully what a person with bipolar deals with every
Lise Pomerleau
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A brave woman telling of her past as an iconic figure in Canadian history. She made me Change My Mind about bi-polar disorder. I enjoyed reading about her past with Pierre Trudeau, as I was a child when it was all happening. I remember seeing her wedding dress in photos and thinking how beautiful she was. Hard to believe she made it herself. She and I both married at 19 and I chose a very similar wedding dress to hers. I also didn't realize that there was such an age gap between them, as Pierre ...more
I was curious to learn the real history behind Margaret Trudeau. This book, one of her memoirs, helped me to do that. It's a very sad tale of a young woman with a big problem that goes undiagnosed and untreated for many years. As she moves through her privileged childhood, and complicated young adulthood she seems very alone, traveling a path not understood by her parents and siblings.

If it weren't a true story, I would find her meeting and then involvement with Pierre Trudeau, a man a generati
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-health
4.5 stars
She was ridiculed and scorned, called a bad mother and a worse wife.
She was everyone's favourite punching bag party girl.
But now we know the truth.
She was struggling, her whole, life with a very real and very difficult mental health disorder - Bipolar.
To read now, from the other side, is to feel overwhelming compassion for Margaret Trudeau, through her 'far too young for her role' days to the broken marriages and manic shopping and hoarding to the tragedy of losing a child, all while tr
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
For the first quarter of this book I did not think I was going to enjoy it but it definitely got better and overall I really enjoyed reading the book. It is very important to remember that the author has suffered from an untreated severe meant so illness for 30 years (most of the span of the book). If you don’t remember this you will become frustrated with what even the author acknowledges is inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour. The book gives great insight into the stigma, treatment and is ...more
Theresa Turner
Sep 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I found Margaret's biography so interesting, that I had a problem putting it down as she shares her life as the wife of Pierre Trudeau the former and late Prime Minister of Canada Remembering of her in my childhood as the Primeminister's wife this book will uncover the truth in her marriage living in 24 Sussex Drive as well as the media hype and tabloid fodder that surrounded her life.. Margaret is honest, and down to earth in her book and will keep the reader interested until the last page.A de ...more
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Margaret Joan Trudeau (née Sinclair, formerly Kemper; born September 10, 1948) is a Canadian author, actress, photographer, former television talk show hostess, and social advocate for people with bipolar disorder, with which she is diagnosed. She is the former wife of Pierre Trudeau, 15th Prime Minister of Canada; they divorced in 1984, during his final months in office. She is the mother of Just ...more

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