Why should you read this book?
I was beyond excited to read Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot. I had heard nothing but amazing things. It’s also a New York Times Bestseller and it was selected by Emma Watson as the Our Shared Shelf Book Club pick for March/April 2018. I need to start this review by saying that I have been noticing that it’s harder for me to write reviews on memoirs/autobiographies than it is to write about fiction and other non-fiction books. Somehow, I feel that it takes courage to put yourself out there, to reveal your past, your pain, your struggles, your darkest sides. Of course I can still talk about the writing, the structure but I feel limited to a certain extent. I am not just rambling on. It’s just very tough for me to write about this book. Why?
Heart Berries is, like I said, a memoir written in short essays. This book was written after Mailhot was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder. She mainly writes about her experience as a Native American, her dysfunctional childhood, motherhood, mental health and her romantic (and also very unhealthy) relationships.
It goes without saying that reading this book is difficult because of the topics it explores. Mailhot is honest, human. Reading Heart Berries can be brutal. At least, it was for me. At the beginning, falling in love with her poetic writing, I felt like I should tell and beg everyone to read this book! But, suddenly, that just stopped. It changed. I was amazed and, out of a sudden, I wasn’t anymore. When this happen, you just can’t go back to that initial state. That magic was gone. Mailhot does not narrate her experience in a linear manner. I don’t usually have a problem with this but I think somehow it didn’t work out so well in this book. Hear Berries is also running in circles all the time. I felt like I was reading the same feelings, fears and thoughts over and over again. I was left with this urge to get something more out of this book. Like I said, I applaud the writer for her bravery and she does write about important and sensitive questions. However, her writing/structure distanced me as a reader.
I’d like to thank Bloomsbury Publishing for the free copy. You can buy it here.
Taken from the publisher’s website.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published on: March 2018