IT’S MY LIFE, AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TOO by Kimberly D. Holmes


The Diary of a Bipolar Woman
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Holmes’ memoir relates her struggle with a mental health disorder, drug addiction, and the complexities of everyday life.

The author states at the outset that her book will explain “how one black woman made it from death to glory.” It begins in jail—her current address is the Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee, California—and goes on to tell of her love for a fellow inmate. Details of Holmes’ past emerge as she intersperses reflections on life in general (“I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason—either outside or inside of us”) with specific accounts of her time spent with her tomboyish companion (“I allowed her to touch my breast, kiss my neck, and touch my glory”). The author tells of a life that involved drug use, manic episodes, divorce, affairs with married men, and several brushes with the law. Of some of her missteps, she says, “The only problem is that everything done in the dark comes to the light. Whoever wrote that statement knew some real live shit before his or her time.” She tells her story in dense paragraphs, but the overall tone is conversational, peppered with advice and casual asides (“For those of you who visit or live in San Diego, you must check out Roy’s [Restaurant]; it’s a phenomenal place”). Sometimes the content is shocking; for example, at one point, she writes of her attraction to a nephew: “I’d kiss him every now and again. What the fuck did I do that shit for?” However, the author’s honesty is without question, as when she explains her purpose in writing this memoir: “My hope is that the challenges that I shared with you—accepting mental illness, embracing life today—inspire you to paint a different picture for yourself.” This hope is not unfounded, given the sheer passion behind Holmes’ outrageous but genuine statements, such as “Life is a bitch, and she will come back and fuck you for fucking with her.”      

A heated but forthright account of one woman’s trials. 

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 2017
Publisher: Dog Ear
Program: Kirkus Indie
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