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Silence of Shame: A Child Caring for Her Bedridden Mother Kindle Edition
Named one of the Best Books of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews.
In this personal narrative, Wendy J. Menara reveals the rare perspective of a child living in the shadow of death, caring for a chronically ill, mentally abusive, bedridden parent. She shares episodes of her life caring for her mother and the heartbreak, at age thirteen, of losing her mother.
By the time she entered first grade in the early 1970s, her parents had divorced, her father was rarely in her life, and her volatile, pain-wracked mother was bedridden with multiple sclerosis. With no other options, the optimistic child and her siblings fed, groomed, and cared for their mother's deteriorating body.
Though her mother was abusive, Wendy refused to stop loving her. Only after her mother's death would she discover damaging secrets and hidden identities that would forever change her world.
Told in vignette form, Wendy J. Menara's compassionate chronicle, Silence of Shame: A Child Caring for Her Bedridden Mother, is for those seeking insight into dysfunctional family relationships and weathering the challenges of caring for a loved one with a debilitating illness. But most of all, it's a story of resilience-when the role of the caretaker and the cared for are prematurely reversed, there is no choice but to become a responsible adult long before growing up.
"Incisive, courageous writing in a vivid family account that proves both sensitive and challenging . . . Illustrated with family photographs throughout, the memoir closes with an unexpected revelation and offers a message of hope and healing that will be of value to others who have faced similar circumstances." - Kirkus Reviews (named one of the best indie books of 2020)
"Incisive, courageous writing in a vivid family account that proves both sensitive and challenging . . . Illustrated with family photographs throughout, the memoir closes with an unexpected revelation and offers a message of hope and healing that will be of value to others who have faced similar circumstances." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Named Best Books of 2020
"Evocative of ...The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Silence of Shame ...is a testament to how one's early life influences but doesn't define a person's life path....[and] teaches lessons about living with disease, struggling through abusive relationships that are also at times loving, and what courage it takes to blossom during dark periods." - Madison Butz, Development Manager - National Multiple Sclerosis Society--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B08GJBWR8W
- Publisher : Turtle Mountain Stories (21 August 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 3965 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 163 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,279,134 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Ms. Menara's writing is crisp and clear without unnecessary detail or verbiage. She tells us about the people who populated her young life with insightful details that flesh them out--no caricatures here, but real, complicated, flawed human beings. She is obviously wise about human nature--and appears to have been from a very early age.
If you are like me, you will want to see more books by Ms. Menara in the future, perhaps a continuation of her own story or her family's story. But if that is not to be, there is still very much in this one book to provide hope and inspiration to anyone who has suffered.
Menara's voice is strong and consistent. She gives the facts, describes her actions, the questions she asked herself at the time and eventually resolves. And that is enough to keep the reader involved.
What was missing for me was true healing. I'm left wondering if she has healed. She could have. She just doesn't share that part of the journey. What does come across is her natural compassion, her deep understanding of people and her desire to be a healing force for her mother. And somehow, like children everywhere, she and her siblings have fun! I'm reminded of kids playing in the rubble filled streets during war. How do they do it? She and her siblings do in spite of the war in the house.
From the beginning to the end all her questions are focused on her mother. What it must have been like to be her. It's easy to see how she, the author, developed the traits of an adult child of an alcoholic from the fear of authority, the constant people pleasing to the avoidance of intimacy. Throughout the book Menara keeps trying to prove to her mother that she loves her. At the end she still is.
I hope she writes another memoir that shares with us the deeper healing that is possible for children of abusive alcoholics (even sober alcoholics) and how she claimed it.
This book left me wanting to know more about this interesting, broken family and Wendy's childhood. I hope she write more.