Plagued by depression her entire life, it wasn't until her early fifties that writer and book critic Bethanne Patrick, advocating for her own care, received a medical diagnosis that would set her on the path to wellness and stability. Recognizing the intergenerational effects of trauma and mental health struggles, Patrick unearths the stories of her past in order to forge a better future for herself and her two daughters, dismantling the stigmas surrounding mental health challenges that can plague families into silence and resignation.
Patrick...courageously reveals her lifelong challenge with depression ... Much as I admired this book, I did have a couple of quibbles ... Although one of Patrick’s gifts to us is her honesty, at times the book felt repetitive and too one-note. But these are small complaints for an author who is brave and who has diligently pursued a better future for herself and her two daughters.
There are some misguided statements in the memoir ... Initially, I wondered why this couldn’t have been a personal essay rather than a memoir. But the more I read, the more I realized how important Patrick’s message is ... Life B is obviously a huge part of Patrick’s healing process, which ultimately makes this memoir a compelling read — not because her illness is so unusual but because her experience of it, her fight to get back to herself and her desires, is so frustratingly common, particularly for women of middle age who have spent their lives putting others first.
Bracing ... Riveting and remarkable in its portrayal of the author’s struggles, this will lend hope to others suffering from mental illness and those who love them. It’s a standout in a very crowded field.