On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened – Lori Schafer

One can only wonder what would lead someone to not know of their mother’s passing until such a long time after the fact. And then you read this story.

It touches you, and it moves you. It makes you angry, and hopeful. You do not feel sorry for the main character, you just feel sad. Sad that someone would have to go through such a difficult situation. Sad that someone was robbed of a loving mother due to an illness that affects so many, and is yet so hard for most to talk about.

The author is not looking for sympathy, or anyone to feel sorry for her. She does not have a “woe-is-me” attitude. She made the best out of a very tough situation, and persevered; succeeded; beat the odds when so many others would have given up.

Have you felt true fear? The type of fear that comes from within you and makes every nerve in your body alive as if electrified over and over again? This is the sense of fear you feel as you read about a girl whose mother went to school with her every day, convinced someone was going to harm her. And she was the only one harming her. Calm and normal one minute, angry and physically violent the next.

On Hearing of my Mother's Death Cover Image

Running away from home, living on the streets, knowing true hunger not for days on end, but for months on end. This was still better than living at home.

This is a story of mental illness, strength, and unending determination. A story about what one young woman did to survive when she had no other choice. It is a story about a disease that is only talked about behind closed doors, with only the closest of relatives. This was a subject you did not want your friends and neighbors knowing about. But of course they did know. How could they not?

If you have ever experienced mental illness in your personal life, you do not want to pass up this story. It is an easy read, not full of medical jargon that has you reaching for a dictionary. I have been witness to this type of behavior in a loved one, and the effects can be truly devastating to a family. It is time to start talking about mental illness, and stop ignoring it. It does not go away. It will not go away.

Look for this story on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N0WYHDQ/

Find further information on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23275192

“Unwind” by Neil Shusterman

For only just starting this book, it seems really interesting. The goal today is to stay awake long enough to actually remember what I read so I don’t have to go back and re-read anything 🙂 The joys of being a shift-worker and trying to stay on schedule! I got so much sleep last night my sleep schedule will be messed up the rest of the weekend. Ginormous Monster to the rescue, once again 🙂


From the opening pages of “Unwind”:

The Bill Of Life:

The Second Civil War, also known as “The Heartland War”, was a long and bloody conflict fought over a single issue.

To end the war, a set of constitutional amendments known as “The Bill of Life” was passed.

It satisfied both the Pro-life and Pro-choice armies.

The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until the child reaches the age of thirteen.

However, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, a parent may choose to retroactively “abort” a child…

…on the condition that the child’s life doesn’t “technically” end.

The process by which a child is both terminated and yet kept alive is called “unwinding.”

Unwinding is now a common and accepted practice in society. (Unwind, Shusterman, N. 2009).

I have so far read about the 3 teens who are set to go through the “unwinding” process. Conner found out his parents signed the contract to have him unwound when he found 3 airline tickets to Jamaica; one each for his parents and younger brother, departing the day before his unwinding. Conner makes a run for it.

Risa has spent her entire life in what we would call foster care. She is now 15, and after two years of training to become a concert pianist, she is told she is not good enough and will be unwound. No, she cannot train to be anything else. That was her decision. They have to make room for all the other unwanted babies, right? And funds are tight. If you can’t become a success at something, you are unwound.

Lev is from an affluent family, and we meet him at his 13th birthday party. Extravagant beyond belief, celebrating the fact that he is about to be unwound. Why? It is his parent’s tithe to their God and all of his blessings. They have 10 children.

I hope to be a lot further in this book by tomorrow, but so far it has been great reading. As a note, I am strictly reading this book to make sure it is suitable for my daughter to read, and to review it. I am not discussing pro-life or pro-choice here. I have my own opinions on that and they are strictly that; “my own opinions.”

It is not my intention here to write anything that is going to offend anyone, but I will be giving an honest review of this book, and the two others that follow!

Have you read this book, and what did you think of it?