Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review(s)

One fiction, one non-fiction.

I don't read a lot of non-fiction.  I have to be deeply, passionately interested in the subject before I will be able to force myself to read non-fiction, and even more interested than that to read it sequentially, from one end to the other.  (I don't read in order much.  I hate suspense.  If, in Chapter One I have fallen in love with Twinkle, and then the author starts hinting that Twinkle will come to a Terrible End, I have to find out what happens before I can continue finding out what happens.  I tried to stop reading like this when I started writing, because I was aware of just how much agony and angst went into what order to put things in, and how to build a story but - I just can't.  I'm sorry, all my writer friends.  Comfort yourself with the fact that I dearly love Twinkle, who you created out of pixels and wine in the wee small hours.)

1.  The Sum Of My Parts, by Olga Trujillo

This was not an easy read, especially the first six chapters.  It is the author's own first person account of recovering repressed memories of physical and sexual abuse, and her journey to wholeness.  She spends the first six chapters talking about the abuse, and how she, as a very young child, dissociated in order to deal with trauma.

The rest of the book talks about diagnosis and recovery, delving into her being diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder and what that looked like for her during the process of healing.

The book is accessible and relatable without subsiding into sensationalism, and a valuable resource for anyone seeking to understand more about the effects, both immediate and long-term, of severe, sustained trauma on very young children, or anyone seeking to understand more about Dissociative Identity Disorder and how that might manifest itself in a healing adult.

2.  Set This House In Order, by Matt Ruff

One of the things that is true about Dissociative Identity Disorder is that there are as many ways of doing it as there are brains that are doing it.  This engaging, well-written novel is written from two points of view, both people who have D.I.D. - one who has been diagnosed and is well on the way to establishing a workable system, and one who has no idea what her issues are.  I appreciated both the diversity and the lack of sensationalism- again, an accessible read, with characters I cared about, and although it is fiction, another good resource for anyone seeking to understand more about D.I.D.

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