Four Rooms, Upstairs: A Psychotherapist’s Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness

Four Rooms, Upstairs: A Psychotherapist's Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother's Mental IllnessFour Rooms, Upstairs: A Psychotherapist’s Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness by Linda  Appleman Shapiro

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.

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