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72 Hour Holdby Bebe Moore Campbell
Synopses & Reviews
In this novel of family and redemption, a mother struggles to save her eighteen-year-old daughter from the devastating consequences of mental illness by forcing her to deal with her bipolar disorder. New York Times best-selling author Bebe Moore Campbell draws on her own powerful emotions and African-American roots, showcasing her best writing yet.
Trina suffers from bipolar disorder, making her paranoid, wild, and violent. Watching her child turn into a bizarre stranger, Keri searches for assistance through normal channels. She quickly learns that a seventy-two hour hold is the only help you can get when an adult child starts to spiral out of control. After three days, Trina can sign herself out of any program.
Fed up with the bureaucracy of the mental health community and determined to save her daughter by any means necessary, Keri signs on for an illegal intervention. The Program is a group of radicals who eschew the psychiatric system and model themselves after the Underground Railroad. When Keri puts her daughter's fate in their hands, she begins a journey that has her calling on the spirit of Harriet Tubman for courage. In the upheaval that follows, she is forced to confront a past that refuses to stay buried, even as she battles to secure a future for her child.
Bebe Moore Campbell's moving story is for anyone who has ever faced insurmountable obstacles and prayed for a happy ending, only to discover she'd have to reach deep within herself to fight for it.
"This powerful story of a mother trying to cope with her daughter's bipolar disorder reads at times like a heightened procedural. Keri, the owner of an upscale L.A. resale clothing shop, is hopeful as daughter Trina celebrates her 18th birthday and begins a successful-seeming new treatment. But as Trina relapses into mania, both their worlds spiral out of control. An ex-husband who refuses to believe their daughter is really sick, the stigmas of mental illness in the black community, a byzantine medico-insurance system — all make Keri increasingly desperate as Trina deteriorates (requiring, repeatedly, a '72 hour hold' in the hospital against her will). The ins and outs of working the mental health system take up a lot of space, but Moore Campbell is terrific at describing the different emotional gradations produced by each new circle of hell. There's a lesbian subplot, and a radical (and expensive) group that offers treatment off the grid may hold promise. The author of a well-reviewed children's book on how to cope with a parent's mental illness, Moore Campbell (What You Owe Me) is on familiar ground; she gives Keri's actions and decisions compelling depth and detail, and makes Trina's illness palpable. While this feels at times like a mission-driven book, it draws on all of Moore Campbell's nuance and style. Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Campbell's clearly trying to make a few specific points, but while doing so she's created a story that is universally touching." San Francisco Chronicle
"Stark, incisive and often harrowing, 72 Hour Hold brings the trauma of mental illness vividly to life. Campbell's characters are wholly believable, her tale, exceptionally well crafted." Baltimore Sun
"This is a wonderful, enlightening story told with the utmost tenderness and sensitivity." Orlando Sentinel
"[T]he novel is as fast-paced as its title implies. And at no point did Campbell become preachy. She let her commanding storytelling pull me in, and she kept me riveted during this timely tale of a mother's roller coaster ride to hell and back." Chicago Sun-Times
"[72 Hour Hold] reveals the pain behind the statistics, the bewilderment of repetitive loss, the ebb and flow of hope against hope and, finally, the necessity of acceptance." Washington Post
Trina is eighteen and suffers from bi-polar disorder, making her paranoid, wild, and violent. Frightened by her own child, Keri searches for help, quickly learning that the mental health community can only offer her a seventy-two hour hold. After these three days Trina is off on her own again. Fed up with the bureaucracy and determined to save her daughter by any means necessary, Keri signs on for an illegal intervention known as The Program, launching them both on a terrifying journey.
About the Author
Bebe Moore Campbell was the author of several New York Times bestsellers: Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, What You Owe Me, which was also a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2001, and 72 Hour Hold. Her other works include the novel Your Blues Aint Like Mine, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the winner of the NAACP Image Award for literature. Bebe Moore Campbell died in 2006.
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