Title/Author: Loud in the House of Myself by Stacey Pershall
Publisher/Year: W.W. Norton 2011
How I Got This Book: I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.
I used to read memoirs a lot--memoirs from famous people, memoirs from people who lead extraordinary lives, or memoirs from your average Joe. Anything. I just really enjoy getting another perspective on life no matter if it's life shattering or just something to contemplate about my life. For whatever reason, I strayed from reading memoirs, so this is my first memoir in about a year and it reaffirms my love for meandering around someone else's memories as they look at some critical juncture in their life and explore the things that shaped their life and discover pieces of who they are.
Anyways, I want to hug Stacy Pershall in this book. I want to be her friend because she goes through some pretty crazy things! She grew up as one of those genuinely precocious children who is just so misunderstood and was ostracized and thus begins her windy road through "Jesus freakdom," bulimia, anorexia, manic episodes, messed up relationship and a suicide attempt that will just leave you speechless.
I know what I just described sounds like one crazy depressing memoir but, while it is completely heartwrenching at times, I assure you it's not like that at all. Stacey is beyond hilarious and witty and I found myself laughing out loud. You know, a real hearty LOL. She writes in such a compelling way that I found myself sometimes shielded from the heaviness of the subject matter, yet at the same time, so incredibly shaken to the core. I felt as though I was on this crazy roller coaster with her and gained perspective into illnesses that I've never dealt with before. Another thing I really appreciated was the depth of her introspection. She wasn't shallow or cliche or blaming circumstances or making excuses or even pretending like she is magically cured now. Instead she gives an honest portrayal of the things that shaped her and really created something quite raw and inspirational that really reflects all those things she's gleaned from some really dark days in her life and how she's moved forward.
I will mention that at some times, for someone who really isn't too familiar with bipolar disorder and many of the other illnesses mentioned, it got a little bit too medical on me. I didn't feel that it detracted from the memoir at all but sometimes it slowed up my reading even though I was genuinely interested in learning about these illnesses.
My Final Thought: If you enjoy incredibly quirky memoirs that will make you laugh while simultaneously forcing you to grapple with some incredible serious issues (eating disorders, depression, suicide), then this book is for you. I think if you enjoyed any of Marya Hornbacher's books that you might be interested in picking this one up. I personally enjoyed this one more than any other memoirs dealing with these types of issues. Something about it felt so genuine and I have a feeling that it was very cathartic for Pershall to write. That story needed to come out and I feel as though I could feel the burden she bared become a little bit lesser for her.
What memoirs have you enjoyed lately?