My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Linda Appleman Shapiro writes honestly and beautifully about her experience as the daughter of a mother with mental illness, coping with the confusion of the mood swings, her struggle to understand, and the stress and shame of keeping it all a secret. We meet her family members – Linda, her mother and father, and her brother – and soon the dynamic in her Brooklyn home becomes clear – as does the love that prevails.
In addition, we get a nostalgic peek at life in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, back in the 40’s and 50’s, when “hanging out at the beach” was a huge part of a young teenager’s life. Shapiro has the hindsight, now, of a trained and experienced psychotherapist. This, combined with her clearly-depicted childhood memories of life in those “Four Rooms” makes for an engaging, enlightening and ultimately therapeutic read.