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Robert Kolker: Hidden Valley Road (Hardcover, 2020, Random House Large Print) 5 stars

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed …

Review of 'Hidden Valley Road' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is a fascinating but rough read. The trials that this family goes through are not easy to stomach, but it is a fantastically empathetic window into the experience of growing up around mental illness, particularly at a time when it was even less understood than it is now. The story is largely woven together via anecdotes and documents from the members of the Galvin family that were never diagnosed with mental illness, so it doesn't provide as much of a window into the mind of those experiencing schizophrenia (or, in one case, bipolar disorder), which feels like a missed a opportunity, but an understandable one, given that many of the still living brothers had been institutionalized and heavily medicated for decades by the time this author found them, making parsing their experiences incredibly challenging.

Additionally, there are some really interesting insights into how institutional misogyny, ableism and a touch …

V. E. Schwab: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (2020) 4 stars

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a 2020 fantasy fiction standalone novel written by …

Review of 'The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I have not fallen in love this quickly and completely with a book in a good long while. I knew from the first few chapters that I was going to tear through it because I was immediately enchanted by Addie and the intricacies of the way she moved in the world. This was my first time reading Schwab's work and it definitely won't be my last. Her writing is eloquent and so full of brilliant thoughts and ideas. What a treasure this was to experience.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Other Stories (Paperback, 1997, Dover Publications) 4 stars

Best known for the 1892 title story of this collection, a harrowing tale of a …

Review of '"The yellow wallpaper" and other stories' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I had read The Yellow Wallpaper already, but I was curious to see other works from Gilman. She's AMAZING. Not only is every story full of feminist punch, they're also very funny. Her sense of humor is endlessly charming. My favorite in the collection was "When I Was a Witch," which I laughed almost all the way through and then was surprisingly touched by its conclusion.