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Madness and Me: My search for sanity

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For many, madness is something read about in books or seen on TV—something scary, foreign, and impossible to understand. For Lisa Nugent and her twin sister Shell, however, madness was impossible to avoid—it was home.Growing up in Essex in the seventies and eighties, Lisa learned quickly that her family wasn’t like her classmates’ families—their mothers were friendly, fier For many, madness is something read about in books or seen on TV—something scary, foreign, and impossible to understand. For Lisa Nugent and her twin sister Shell, however, madness was impossible to avoid—it was home.Growing up in Essex in the seventies and eighties, Lisa learned quickly that her family wasn’t like her classmates’ families—their mothers were friendly, fierce, or demure women. They had their quirks, but they didn’t assault their husbands, and their frenzied screams didn’t chase their children out of the house in the middle of the night. Not like her mother. Now, for the first time, Lisa relives those troubled years, recounting her development from a nervous, shy, and friendless child through to the woman she is today. Madness and Me isn’t just a memoir about surviving an abusive, paranoid parent—it’s about the importance of family, the pain of loss, and learning to love even when it’s the hardest thing in the world to do.A work of tenderness, dignity, and humour, Madness and Me is sure to appeal to lovers of memoir and drama alike. 


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For many, madness is something read about in books or seen on TV—something scary, foreign, and impossible to understand. For Lisa Nugent and her twin sister Shell, however, madness was impossible to avoid—it was home.Growing up in Essex in the seventies and eighties, Lisa learned quickly that her family wasn’t like her classmates’ families—their mothers were friendly, fier For many, madness is something read about in books or seen on TV—something scary, foreign, and impossible to understand. For Lisa Nugent and her twin sister Shell, however, madness was impossible to avoid—it was home.Growing up in Essex in the seventies and eighties, Lisa learned quickly that her family wasn’t like her classmates’ families—their mothers were friendly, fierce, or demure women. They had their quirks, but they didn’t assault their husbands, and their frenzied screams didn’t chase their children out of the house in the middle of the night. Not like her mother. Now, for the first time, Lisa relives those troubled years, recounting her development from a nervous, shy, and friendless child through to the woman she is today. Madness and Me isn’t just a memoir about surviving an abusive, paranoid parent—it’s about the importance of family, the pain of loss, and learning to love even when it’s the hardest thing in the world to do.A work of tenderness, dignity, and humour, Madness and Me is sure to appeal to lovers of memoir and drama alike. 

30 review for Madness and Me: My search for sanity

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Tilley

    I’m always so grateful to those who are willing to share their most intimate and horrifying details of life with a mental ill family member. I’m reading more and more books along this theme and while it’s extremely sad, it’s so real! So I’m grateful. Hopefully we will come to understand more about these different illnesses and our culture will be more accepting of the fact that they are illnesses. Anyway, it’s an amazing, real story of a very difficult life. Just dealing with her moms mental ill I’m always so grateful to those who are willing to share their most intimate and horrifying details of life with a mental ill family member. I’m reading more and more books along this theme and while it’s extremely sad, it’s so real! So I’m grateful. Hopefully we will come to understand more about these different illnesses and our culture will be more accepting of the fact that they are illnesses. Anyway, it’s an amazing, real story of a very difficult life. Just dealing with her moms mental illness is honestly too much for any family to bear, but the author endured several more hardships through her life. Definitely one that will have your heart.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Denise Meister

    Heartbreaking The author's journey with her mother's mental illness is one that unless you have lived in a household with mental illness, it is hard to fathom the destruction and pain it causes. Like a coin tossed in the water, it ripples out and forever changes lives. We learn to hide it well, seek normal and hope that the truth of the madness does not reveal itself in public. She said it well when she said" the baggage of mental illness never leaves". The health care field is sorely lacking in Heartbreaking The author's journey with her mother's mental illness is one that unless you have lived in a household with mental illness, it is hard to fathom the destruction and pain it causes. Like a coin tossed in the water, it ripples out and forever changes lives. We learn to hide it well, seek normal and hope that the truth of the madness does not reveal itself in public. She said it well when she said" the baggage of mental illness never leaves". The health care field is sorely lacking in resources, understanding and treatment. The neglect, domestic violence and abuse is ignored. Everyone is a victim and the scars do not go away easily. Broken hearts, families, relationships, forever left in the wake of mental illness. I commend the author and her twin sister and their families who survived.And God Bless the author for taking care of her mother still. And forgiving despite the terrible injustices of a disease that deprived Suzanne of a mother,her childhood and profoundly affected her adult life shows the triumph of the human spirit.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Mason

    PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES A CAN RELATE TO THE BOOK 186 PAGES A TWIN SISTER AND MOM SUFFERED WITH A LIFE IN CHAOS WITH THE DISEASE LOVED THE CRYSTAL CLEAR POLORID PICTURES BUT THE AUTHOR GOT OF SUBJECT SPACING BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS AND SENTENCES BUT A GOOD BOOK I STILL CONGRATS TO AUTHOR I CAN TELL THIS HER FIRST BOOK BUT VERY READABLE!?! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES A CAN RELATE TO THE BOOK 186 PAGES A TWIN SISTER AND MOM SUFFERED WITH A LIFE IN CHAOS WITH THE DISEASE LOVED THE CRYSTAL CLEAR POLORID PICTURES BUT THE AUTHOR GOT OF SUBJECT SPACING BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS AND SENTENCES BUT A GOOD BOOK I STILL CONGRATS TO AUTHOR I CAN TELL THIS HER FIRST BOOK BUT VERY READABLE!?! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

  4. 4 out of 5

    Suzi

    The topic is very important, not understood and sad for those who have to live this torment. The book was well written and a true story for this authors sorrowful reality. I do think it's wonderful to get the information out there and share with others that may be struggling with mental illness. I just felt the book was a little slow moving for me, but well told. The topic is very important, not understood and sad for those who have to live this torment. The book was well written and a true story for this authors sorrowful reality. I do think it's wonderful to get the information out there and share with others that may be struggling with mental illness. I just felt the book was a little slow moving for me, but well told.

  5. 5 out of 5

    CLAIR Withers

    Good book. Harrowing story of how two sisters survive livening with a mentally affected mum. And how they deal with her. Certainly gives you something to think about.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alan Whitehouse

    Wonderful Honestly one of the most thought provoking books I have read in a long while. What courage it must have taken to live your early years. You are a beautiful person, never forget that.

  7. 4 out of 5

    verla holguin

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda Frauenheim

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dee Inman

  10. 5 out of 5

    AnnMarie Johnson

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cathy A.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Shack

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robin Woodward

  14. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Andrews

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lila J. Kleis

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mrs D L Tully

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary Claire Murphy

  19. 5 out of 5

    betty w durham

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Marie Wright

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Verardi Knutson

  23. 5 out of 5

    tina robinson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Judy Shade

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Hille

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Linda D. Hill

  28. 5 out of 5

    bridget ashley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa J

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brandis1914

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