4 out of 4 stars
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Lori-ellen was born in 1963 into a family with strict rules. Her father, a former United States Marine, imposed a harsh environment at home, providing Debby (the eldest sister), Liz (the second sister), and Lori-ellen and her twin brother Louis with a rough childhood. Unknown to all, the tough personality her father had was partially caused by a problem Lori-ellen had also inherit: Bipolar Disorder. And this problem was not something to be underestimated.
The Journey Home, by Lori-ellen Pisani, is a fascinating autobiography where the author takes us through her hard life of war against Bipolar Disorder, from her childhood to her 50s. This disease consists of mood swings that go from Mania – a feeling of euphoria characterized by high levels of productivity and creativity, and impulsive behaviors (like irrational spending of money) – to Depression – a feeling of aversion to activity, and overwhelming sadness that can reach suicidal thoughts or actions.
Throughout the narrative, readers are presented with numerous themes, like Lori-ellen’s repressed feeling of intimacy abuse, the drama of an abortion, the impact of her unstable mood on her personal and professional relationships, or even the imprisonment of her father and sister. The tone of the narrative is marked by the negativity that Bipolar Disorder had in her life. However, it is remarkable to see how each attitude in Lorri-ellen’s life is either the right (often heroic) way of proceeding or serves as a lesson for future generations.
It was very interesting to notice how Lori-ellen reported other people’s misdeeds and failures (and the impact it had on her), without, however, lacking respect. In other words, she vents about what she suffered not as a way of pointing her finger at others but simply as a way of presenting the circumstances she was surrounded by. Considering what she has been through, it is clear that some of the episodes took a lot of courage to write about and present to public audiences. Given the strong topics contained throughout the narrative, I recommend The Journey Home for adults only. Also, it seems to be more appealing for those who like inspiring biographies or are undergoing similar problems in their lives.
As for the structure, The Journey Home is very well edited. The text is divided into 24 reasonably-sized chapters (plus Prologue and Epilogue). The linguistic quality is very good: the text flows smoothly, the sentences are well structured and the range of vocabulary diversity is broad. There is a fair amount of profanity, as some of Lori-ellen’s bursts of rage resulted in rather colorful assertions. The seldom references to erotic elements are very mild and dwell mostly on the emotional aspect of the relationships. Finally, there are some typos and grammar mistakes that could easily be polished with another round of proofreading.
My favorite element of the book is the fact that the narrative, in prose, is adorned with poems. The poetry contained in The Journey Home works incredibly well, making readers understand the author’s perspective through words and rhetoric that cut sharper than scalpels.
My least favorite element was the lack of sense of closure in the Epilogue. It felt as if it was just another chapter. The last couple of paragraphs were the only text wrapping up the narrative.
All in all, The Journey Home is an awe-striking story of a soldier fighting an unconventional war where the enemy is within the self. Hats off to Lori-ellen Pisani. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. This rating reflects my deep appreciation for the content and the way it was structured to deliver this remarkable book. I strongly feel that the errors contained in the book were not significant enough to lower the rating.
The Journey Home
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