While providing some insights into mental illness and abuse, this work becomes too mired in the maneuvers of a father to...

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Who Am I?

HOW MY DAUGHTER TAUGHT ME TO LET GO AND LIVE AGAIN

A debut memoir offers a straightforward account of an emotionally abusive marriage.

Cyrulewski begins her book with a brief, intense scene: She can’t stop crying. She feels she’s a terrible mother and that her daughter would be better off without her. She wants to die. This glimpse of postpartum depression and anxiety may ring true for many new mothers, and pulls a reader into the story. But rather than examining this condition, the work explores a different subject. While Cyrulewski writes about her admittance to a psychiatric ward after the birth of Madelyne, her narrative focuses on her relationship with Tyler, her husband, then ex, and her daughter’s father. The author recounts how they met and quickly married. She also relates many early warning signs: Tyler, a recovering drug addict, used their wedding money to pay a debt she didn’t know he had. Verbally abusive almost from the start, he refused to help around the house and made her feel as if she were to blame for everything that went wrong. Yet he always apologized and she was swayed—to the point that she caved into his pleas to have a child just to save the marriage. Halfway through the account, Cyrulewski discovers that Tyler likely has narcissistic personality disorder, a condition causing a warped sense of self-importance, often leading to exploitative and abusive relationships. While this could be relevant for women trapped in similar circumstances, the volume unfortunately centers on Tyler. Though the author sheds some light on the insidious pattern of emotional abuse, she fails to delve deeply enough into her own mental state, or conversely, broaden her view beyond her own experience to show why she and many others stay in such relationships. Indeed, the second half of the volume, after Cyrulewski files for divorce, is so weighed down by copious details about Tyler’s actions (legal and otherwise) and failures as a parent that it reads less like a memoir and more like a defense brief. But throughout her ordeal, the author finds solace in Madelyne: “My daughter is my strength, my happiness, my love.”

While providing some insights into mental illness and abuse, this work becomes too mired in the maneuvers of a father to engage a broad readership.

Pub Date: July 17, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62694-151-9

Page Count: 252

Publisher: Black Opal Books

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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