Heidi was kind enough to send me a paperback of Chasing North Star and nothing beats holding a paperback. The book is told in alternating viewpoints and timelines. We travel to 1940s Germany when Hitler’s reign of terror is showing itself. Didi’s mother is suffering from mental illness, and that suffering manifests itself with physical abuse to her daughter. Didi winds up abandoned to an orphanage as her mother can no longer care for her.
Then we travel to the 1970s, where our narrator describes growing up with her siblings and her parents. Her mother is suffering from variously diagnosed disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. She too lavishes extreme abuse on her children. These two worlds will eventually intersect in this multi-genre story.
McCrary did a wonderful job of showing how poorly sufferers were treated not only in hospitals but by their peers. The stigma surrounding mental illness has come a long way, but there is still progress to be made as I am always reading and hearing of people who think a walk outside will cure everything. There isn’t really a set plot, rather we followed the two stories as they progressed until the last hour when we watch them intersect. The thing I didn’t see with this was the lasting effects of trauma on Didi’s children. Perhaps that is something to explore in a different book. Overall, a valuable read.
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Chasing North Star is available on Amazon for $9.49.
One thought on “Chasing North Star, Heid McCrary”
Thank you so much for the review, Yeah, mental illness is still misunderstood today, but at least we’re getting better at recognizing it and trying to understand it. Your comment on a sequel following the children in their later years, and the lasting effect of their turbulent childhood. Hmm… 🙂
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