I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Welcome to My Breakdown by Benilde Little
on April 21, 2015
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The nationally bestselling author of Good Hair and The Itch pens her first book of nonfiction, a “momoir” about her own journey caring for aging parents, raising children, being married, plunging to the depths of depression, and climbing her way out.
My mother was gone. I never thought I would survive her death.
A major bestselling novelist and former magazine editor, long married to a handsome and successful stockbroker with whom she has a beautiful daughter and son, Benilde Little once had every reason to feel on top of the world. But as illness, the aging of her parents, and other hurdles interrupted her seemingly perfect life, she took a tailspin into a pit of clinical depression.
Told in her own fearless and wise voice, Welcome to My Breakdown chronicles a cavern of depression so dark that Benilde didn’t know if she’d ever recover from what David Foster Wallace called “a nausea of the soul.” She discusses everything from her Newark upbringing, once-frequent visits to a Muslim mosque, and how it felt to date a married man, to her doubts about marriage, being caught between elder care and childcare, and ultimately how she treated her depression and found a way out.
Writing in the courageous tradition of great female storytellers such as Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, and Pearl Cleage, Benilde doesn’t hold back as she shares insights, inspiration, and intimate details of her life. Powerful, relatable, and ultimately redemptive, Welcome to My Breakdown is a remarkable memoir about the power within us all to rise from despair and to feel hope and joy again.
There are times in a reader’s life when they ask themselves – What happened to so and so? While going through a pile of books – I came across a book named Good Hair, and my first thought was What Happened to Benilde Little?
My question was answered when I received ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of Welcome to My Breakdown. The title alone had me asking myself – What breakdown? What cause Benilde’s breakdown?
“My mother was gone. I never thought I would survive her death.”
Welcome to my Breakdown is a wonderfully written, honest, and insightful read.
Author Benilde Little recounts the events that ensued after the passing of her mom. Even though it’s labeled a memoir – I love to call it a beautiful tribute to her mother. Benilde shares a lot about her mother’s life in this book. Benilde & her mom shared a bond that you don’t see too often. I understand why she fell into a deep clinical depression. Without revealing any spoilers, not only does Benilde have to find a way to deal with her mother’s passing – she is hit with a few more life altering events.
It takes courage to be able to open up and share yourself the World. I believe each reader will take away a learning lesson or two from reading this book.
When Benilde wrote – “It was March 24, 2009…” My heart immediately sank because March 24th is my birthday, but March 24, 2009 is the day I got married. I took a deep breath and continued to read. That passage did stay with me for a few days after reading. That goes to show you how fragile life is – While I’m celebrating my nuptials one of my favorite authors is preparing to say goodbye to her mother.
As a person that deals with depression – I think this book will give people the courage to start dialogue about depression. You are not alone! Don’t suffer in silence.