Breath in the Dark

Where's this book been?
by Jane Hersey | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 9781780881652 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 4/3/2019
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, April 03, 2019
I got this ex-library softcover from Better World Books, after seeing it on another BCer's wishlist. It's a memoir depicting the author's childhood, which she spent under truly horrifying and heartbreaking circumstances: from early childhood she felt responsible for her mother, who suffered from diabetes and what seems to be crippling depression, often motionless in bed for days on end and seldom interested in her child save for small periods when suitably medicated. Young Jane was devoted to her mother, despite the chronic neglect; during periods when her mother was hospitalized and Jane placed in other care, she couldn't settle in at all, increasingly desperate to return to the mother she was sure would die without her. Jane herself suffered mental illnesses, mainly in the form of (probably trauma-induced) eating disorders, but also with an inability to relate to others - not sure if that involved some personality disorder or a simple self-defense technique, but it's awful to read about. So young a child, so helpless... Even when she grew older and was more able to manage things for herself, eventually finding a decent job in a clothing factory doing sewing, she'd get obsessed with food while showing a lack of interest in personal hygiene to the point of being called out for it at work. Self-sabotage or ignorance or both? Hard to tell; the first-person viewpoint reveals events and some of her internal thoughts but doesn't apply any later-in-life revelations. I felt much sympathy for her, relief whenever an aid agency or helpful individual would step in, or when she seemed to have found a way out of her fraught situation - and sadness, frustration, even anger when her own actions or those of others would drop her back into the barely-getting-by mode.

The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, with a teenaged Jane seeking a new job. There's a sequel, Full Circle, which sounds as though it features more rounds of wrenching trauma and abuse - but the author's biography indicates that she survived it all somehow. I find that nothing short of amazing...

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Released 1 mo ago (6/5/2019 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm sending this to BCer J4shaw for the US/Canada wishlist-tag game. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by wingJ4shawwing at Boise, Idaho USA on Friday, June 14, 2019
Thank you GoryDetails, this arrived in Boise safe and sound.

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