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72 Hour Hold
Synopses & Reviews
Trina suffers from bipolar disorder, making her paranoid, wild, and violent. Watching her child turn into a bizarre stranger, Keri searches desperately for assistance. Fed up with the bureaucracy of the mental health community and determined to save her daughter be any means necessary, Keri signs on for an illegal intervention. The Program is run by 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. In this novel of family and redemption, Bebe Moore Campbell draws on the powerful emotions of her own experience and African-American roots, showcasing her best writing yet.
"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
"The subject matter of the novel is fascinating, and Moore Campbell does an excellent job of revealing the stigma of mental illness, compounded with the stigma of race." Rocky Mountain News
"Bebe Moore Campbell tells the story with such passion and detail that it feels as if the mother's painful journey must be based on real events..." Detroit Free Press
"[O]f all Campbell's novels, this one feels closest to the bone....it turns its empathic eye toward a mother's worst nightmare, and does not look away." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[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
"[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
"The characters are richly drawn, and Campbell is particularly skilled at exploring the nuances of family, with all the definitions that concept entails." Boston Globe
"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
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 daughters 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 Campbells moving story is for anyone who has ever faced insurmountable obstacles and prayed for a happy ending, only to discover shed have to reach deep within herself to fight for it.
About the Author
Bebe Moore Campbell is the author of three New York Times best sellers: Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, and What You Owe Me, which was also a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2001. Her other works include the novel Your Blues Ain?t Like Mine, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the winner of the NAACP Image Award for literature.
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