4 out of 4 stars
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Bernie was raised in a Catholic-based home. She attended a Catholic school and had piano lessons as a young girl. Her parents loved her with blind love and made all decisions in her life for her to become successful. She went along without complaining. She never spoke up, never gave the impression that she wasn't happy because that wasn't acceptable. It was her father's idea for her to become a teacher. She succeeded. She was a good girl, obedient. But what did she want? What was her desire? At the age of 40, Bernie finds herself in a mental hospital following a recent move to a Victorian house. There, she has to come face-to-face with the past. For her to move forward, she needs to live through her life again and bring to the surface all her fears, anger, confusion, doubt and joy.
While we learn about Bernie's life, simultaneously, we discover the story of her mother's life. Her mother also grew up in a Catholic-based home, but her life was full of abuse. With a drunken father and a mother who only gossiped with all the neighbors, Meg had to start working at a very young age to support her ever-growing family. Meg was the oldest sibling in the family and had to take a lot of responsibility upon her shoulders. She soon learned that she couldn't trust her mother with money and after her sister's death, a result of her mother's carelessness, she leaves her mother to find a better life for herself.
Breaking the Chain by Patricia Rossi makes you overlook your own life while reading this book. As a mother of little children, I found this book to be especially useful to me. The entire story spoke to me personally. I felt as if I was in Bernie's place. Of course, I can’t relate to the mental hospital, but Bernie's entire life reminded me of my own and so, going forth, her healing also became my own. I learned a lot about how children are affected by the way their parents raised them. But it doesn't stop there, their lives are affected even by choices made by their grandparents. Even at the young age of 3, children understand much more then we think they understand. This made me rethink how I raise my children, how I speak to them and how I make them feel. I think that is the author's intention.
This is one of those books that will stay with you for a long time. An emotional story that takes you on a journey and changes your life in the process. There was much to love about this book. My favorite part was when Bernie talked about the article she read that changed her relationship with her children. The only thing that I didn't like was the abrupt ending. It felt like maybe the last page was torn away but that wasn't a big issue. This book has minimal profane language, is well-written and is professionally edited.
Although this book has some subjects that are not clearly explained, such as, what happened to Bernie that she ended up in the hospital or how exactly the Victorian house is the reason for her depression, the overall story proved that those events are not so important. I admired this book and highly recommend it to people who like psychology and to those who are experiencing difficulties in raising their children. Also if you feel that you have had a somewhat abusive past and as a result, you have not matured emotionally, then this book will also help you. I am happy to rate this book 4 out of 4. It deserves nothing less.
Breaking the Chain
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