Title: The Long Journey Home
Author: Margaret Robison
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Publication Date: May 17, 2011
Hardcover: 400 pages
From the Publisher:
First introduced to the world in her sons’ now-classic memoirs—Augusten Burroughs’s Running with Scissors and John Elder Robison’s Look Me in the Eye—Margaret Robison now tells her own haunting and lyrical story. A poet and teacher by profession, Robison describes her Southern Gothic childhood, her marriage to a handsome, brilliant man who became a split-personality alcoholic and abusive husband, the challenges she faced raising two children while having psychotic breakdowns of her own, and her struggle to regain her sanity.
Robison grew up in southern Georgia, where the façade of 1950s propriety masked all sorts of demons, including alcoholism, misogyny, repressed homosexuality, and suicide. She met her husband, John Robison, in college, and together they moved up north, where John embarked upon a successful academic career and Margaret brought up the children and worked on her art and poetry. Yet her husband’s alcoholism and her collapse into psychosis, and the eventual disintegration of their marriage, took a tremendous toll on their family: Her older son, John Elder, moved out of the house when he was a teenager, and her younger son, Chris (who later renamed himself Augusten), never completed high school. When Margaret met Dr. Rodolph Turcotte, the therapist who was treating her husband, she felt understood for the first time and quickly fell under his idiosyncratic and, eventually, harmful influence.
Robison writes movingly and honestly about her mental illness, her shortcomings as a parent, her difficult marriage, her traumatic relationship with Dr. Turcotte, and her two now-famous children, Augusten Burroughs and John Elder Robison, who have each written bestselling memoirs about their family. She also writes inspiringly about her hard-earned journey to sanity and clarity. An astonishing and enduring story, The Long Journey Home is a remarkable and ultimately uplifting account of a complicated, afflicted twentieth-century family.
The Long Journey Home by Margaret Robison is a personal memoir that takes readers into the difficult figurative places Robison experienced throughout her life. Readers see a perseverant woman with a lifetime’s worth of celebratory successes and likewise heartbreaking failures. Her journey includes difficult times struggling with mental illness, experiences with outpouring compassion, spirituality and ultimately, redemption. Through her chronological telling of events that influenced her decisions and emotional well-being, readers learn of struggles with alcoholism, suicide, her self-reflection on her parenting mistakes and challenges from her marital discontent. Though I did not feel this memoir was one of the better crafted of those I have read in recent months, Robison portrays honesty in her writing that makes this memoir raw, unembellished and poignantly descriptive of the life experiences that brought her to where she is today. I recommend The Long Journey Home to readers seeking a good memoir that depicts plenty of life struggles and ultimately the overcoming of these hurdles and personal growth that accompanies learning to accept those hurdles that cannot be overcome.
Margaret Robison is an artist and the author of four books of poetry. She lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.
For more information about Margaret Robison please visit her website.
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I received an arc of The Long Journey Home by Margaret Robison from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.