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The Memory Palace
The Memory Palace
Author: Mira Bartok
A gorgeous memoir about the 17 year estrangement of the author and her homeless schitzophrenic mother, and their reunion.
ISBN-13: 9781439183311
ISBN-10: 1439183317
Publication Date: 1/11/2011
Pages: 336
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 13 ratings
Publisher: Free Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 5
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Memory Palace on
Helpful Score: 3
This very well-written book was almost impossible to put down. It is very moving and sometimes difficult to read because it chronicles real life tragedy. The author keeps questioning if she has done the right thing in choosing to escape the insanity that was her life, instead moving forward to create a normal life for herself without her mother. Of course she has done the only thing possible. The entries from her mother's journal provide insight into the mind of one particular person with schizophrenia. yes, the book can be depressing, but it is real.
reviewed The Memory Palace on + 468 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I listened to this on audio CD. The narrator did a great job with Ms. Bartok's prose, but a huge, huge drawback is that you miss seeing the author's artwork which is part of the print edition. A sad and haunting memoir, it knocked me off my feet. Highly recommend.
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reviewed The Memory Palace on
This is a magnificent memoir of survival. That any one individual could survive an entire childhood through adulthood experience with a paranoid schitzophrenic mother and survive is a statement to the intelligence,
perseverence and determination of the author, Mira Bartok.
reviewed The Memory Palace on + 980 more book reviews
The Memory Palace is a memoir which tells of Mira Bartok's life growing up and living with a mother who suffered from schizophrenia . The book begins at the end as Mira rediscovers her mother who is nearing the end of her life. It then proceeds to describe the process of their life in snapshots as rooms in Mira's "memory palace."

The memory palace is a tool that associates our memories with a concrete place and object. Your palace has rooms, and each room has a significant object which triggers memories and emotions. Mira uses this tool as she struggles to rediscover her mother and also her own memories as she recovers from a head injury.

This book is a difficult read because of the strong emotions it elicits. The book makes you cringe at the extremely difficult situation Mira and her sister live with. Yet the book also talks about her overriding love for her mother, her lifelong desire to be able to help her mother, and the heartbreaking decisions she made to survive the situation.

Despite the strong emotions in the book or really maybe because of them, it is a also hard book to put down. I wanted to protect Mira and her sister. I wanted to help their mother. I wanted to question the people around them to see what more could have been done. I imagined what I would have done. I wasn't ready to be done when the book ended because I want to know what happened after.

This is a story told from the heart and meant to be read from the heart.

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