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Resilience : two sisters and a story of mental illness
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Mothers and sons
Bipolar disorder
Mental illness
Family secrets
Personal narratives
- Europe
- Africa
- United States
Time Period
-- 20th-21st century
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

In order to help fight the stigma associated with mental illness, Close, a sister of actress Glenn Close, tells a gut-wrenching story of her life with severe bipolar disorder, which covers such topics as her parents' involvement in the Moral Re-Armament cult, which led to her family frequently moving (for many years they lived in Zaire), and her emancipation from them at a young age. Close does not shy away from the havoc caused by her mental illness and multiple suicide attempts on her parents, sisters, lovers, and children. Within the story, sister Glenn voices vignettes, which gives Close's story an alternative viewpoint. -VERDICT This story is perfect for those who have someone in their life affected by bipolar disorder and want to get a better understanding of what they may be going through. ["This will be popular in public libraries where memoirs and mental health issues are widely read," read the review of the Grand Central hc, LJ 2/1/14.]-Jessi Brown, Huntington City-Twp. P.L., IN © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

In a heartfelt journey through self-destructive manic-depressive states, Close (The Warping of Al) chronicles her journey to recovery and activism with the help of actress Glenn Close, her older sister. The author was born in Connecticut in 1953, the youngest of the four Close children. After their parents, doctor Bill and Bettina, became missionaries in the Christian evangelical group Moral Re-Armament (MRA), the family moved to the Belgian Congo in 1960, where Bill became the personal physician to Colonel Joseph Mobutu and his army. Shuttled between Africa and her mother's relatives in Greenwich, Conn., the young author stumbled into destructive behavior without much supervision, experimenting with sex and drugs; at the age of 17, her parents encouraged her to get married to an abusive boyfriend rather than "living in sin." Close moved to California; Washington, D.C.; Texas; and Wyoming, remarrying again and again and living on her trust fund. Her manic-depressive episodes remained undiagnosed into adulthood and brought out erratic behavior and heavy drinking, even as she had to care for her two sons and daughter. By the early 1990s she was having wild mood swings and suicidal thoughts, until she was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Close's story alternates with brief corroborative vignettes written by her sister in a belabored and grim memoir that will nonetheless reach its intended audience thanks to the author's famous sister and their shared nonprofit group geared toward mental health, Bring Change 2 Mind. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
<p>A memoir by Glenn Close's sister Jessie about the challenges of living with severe bipolar disorder, with chapters by Glenn Close</p><p>The Close sisters are descended from very prominent and wealthy ancestors. When the Close sisters were very young, their parents joined a cult called the MRA, or Moral Rearmament. The family was suddenly uprooted to a cult school in Switzerland and, ultimately, to the Belgian Congo where their father became a surgeon in the war-ravaged republic and ultimately the personal physician to President Mobutu. Shortly after the girls returned to the United States for boarding school, Jessie first started to exhibit symptoms of severe bipolar disorder. She would later learn that this ran in the family, a well-kept secret. Jessie embarked on a series of destructive marriages as the condition worsened. Glenn was always by her side throughout. Jessie's mental illness was passed on to her son, Calen. It wasn't until Calen entered McLean's psychiatric hospital that Jessie herself was diagnosed. Fifteen years and twelve years of sobriety later, Jessie is a stable and productive member of society. Glenn continues to be the major support in Jessie's life.</p><p>In Resilience , the sisters share their story of triumphing over Jessie's illness. The book is written in Jessie's voice, with running commentary and an epilogue written by Glenn.</p>
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