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Hardcover Swallow the Ocean: A Memoir Book

ISBN: 1582433852

ISBN13: 9781582433851

Swallow the Ocean: A Memoir

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

*Best Available: (missing dust jacket)

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Book Overview

Charismatic, beautiful Sally Flynn was the center of her daughters' imaginations, particularly Laura's. Without warning, life as they knew it changed as paranoid schizophrenia overtook Sally. Whether... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Simply Breathtaking

My heart still breaks for the little girls at the center of this book, and their carefully constructed world of imagination that fights against the illness in their house. The writing has an ethereal quality to it that keeps you turning the pages long after bedtime, and sticks with you long after the last riveting page.

Amazing book, and I don't like memoirs

I am not a big memoir reader- even acclaimed ones are usually too self-indulgent for my tastes. But a friend pressed Swallow the Ocean on me, and once I got started I couldn't put it down. It lights up many parts of your brain as you are reading it, and for some time afterwards too.


Swallow the Ocean is one of the most tremendous memoirs I have ever read. I could feel the build of events, though they were never once written about in an overly dramatic fashion. The book seems to be crafted with the opposite in mind- a quiet, brooding, mounting pressure, all given to the reader as if on the sly, as if sharing a whispered secret. So that by the time I read one of the final scenes, I was in part stunned that there was this kind of action after so much surviving of the incremental steps. Simply, it does everything a powerful memoir should do, but is even more beautiful because it's done thoughtfully, quietly, elegantly.

Swallow the Ocean

This is a moving and beautifully written love story by a daughter about her mother and her entire family. It is a must-read for anyone who has ever lived in proximity with someone who is 'walking wounded' as a consequence of mental illness, but is not ill enough to be hospitalized. In a most beautiful and moving way, Ms Flynn tells her story of growing up in San Francisco as her Mom descends into mental illness. I was truly blessed with Swallow the Ocean only a few weeks after caring for and then burying a mentally ill relative who had simply worn out those who lived in closest contact with him. He couldn't help being ill; the relatives who weren't around for him could be forgiven for giving up on him. He was not easy to love. Ms Flynn builds a bridge for us to help better understand mental illness and how families struggle to do their best under very trying circumstances.

Before you start reading, carve out some time in your day

Once you begin reading "Swallow the Ocean," you won't be able to put it down. I read it until 3 am, and I would have kept on reading it if I hadn't gotten to the end. This is just one of those books. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that the story will break your heart and then help you put it back together again. This is a marvelous, beautiful book. The writing is stunning!
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