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Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.

In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide

In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide - Nancy Rappaport Dr. Rappaport has written a brave and touching memoir, in which she attempts to understand her mother, who killed herself when Rappaport was just four years old. The aftermath of suicide is devastating, as I can attest from personal experience. The swath of anguish it leaves behind is wide and indelible. Nancy Rappaport, after whom Dr. Rappaport was named, killed herself of a public and painful custody battle, leaving behind six children, the author being the youngest. You can imagine the complexities and sensitivities involved in writing a memoir with all those family members hovering about, especially when some are not supportive of the project. Yet Rappaport handles it with with compassion and a courageous honesty. Rappaport's family is a prominent one in Massachusetts politics and her mother was by all accounts a brilliant, energetic and accomplished woman, described by her own mother as "a very vehement sort of person." The author weaves the story of her own adult life as a psychiatrist, wife and mother, using present situations as stepping stones to meditations on those of her mother. As Rappaport dissects her mother's marriage and life she bring to the task her own considerable wisdom and experience as a psychiatrist. This adds depth and universality to a personal story, and will be highly informative to anyone who has suffered the suicide of a loved one. This is a well-written book, both in terms of scholarship and prose. Rappaport has a lovely way with words, and a clear and generous perception. This is a wonderful examination of how a parent's suicide affects the family left behind and how it contributed to the author's becoming who she has become. This book will be an especially valuable resource to therapists working with patients dealing with suicide in the family, or the early loss of a parent.