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Download The Memory Palace Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Memory Palace (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Mira Bartok
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,217 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mira Bartok Narrator: Hillary Huber Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN:
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When piano prodigy Norma Herr was healthy, she was the most vibrant personality in the room. But as her schizophrenic episodes became more frequent and more dangerous, she withdrew into a world that neither of her daughters could make any sense of. After being violently attacked for demanding that Norma seek help, Mira Bartok and her sister changed their names and cut off all contact in order to keep themselves safe.

For the next 17 years, Mira's only contact with her mother was through infrequent letters exchanged through post office boxes, often not even in the same city where she was living. At the age of 40, Mira suffered a debilitating head injury that left her memories foggy and her ability to make sense of the world around her forever changed. Hoping to reconnect with her past, Mira reached out to the homeless shelter where her mother was living. When she received word that her mother was dying in a hospital, Mira and her sister traveled to their mother's deathbed to reconcile one last time.

Norma gave them a key to a storage unit in which she has kept hundreds of diaries, photographs, and mementos from the past that Mira never imagined she would see again. These artifacts triggered a flood of memories and gave Mira access to the past that she believed had been lost forever.

The Memory Palace explores the connections between mother and daughter that cannot be broken no matter how much exists - or is lost - between them. It is an astonishing literary memoir about the complex meaning of love, truth, and the capacity for forgiveness within a family.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacquie | 2/19/2014

    " Interesting for the fact that it opened my eyes more to the life of a schizophrenic and the lack of resources available to them, especially in the US. But it was a bit sporadic in that it jumped around from a description of her mother's mental illness to some of the author's own travels throughout the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lesley | 2/18/2014

    " Beautifully rendered memoir that captures the impact of schizophrenia on the family, the power and limits of family bonds, the resiliency of the human spirit. Highly recommend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl/Aradanryl | 2/16/2014

    " Excellent thought-provoking memoir written by the daughter dealing with her mother's mental illness. While not a particularly easy book, it deals with the chaotic, difficult and occasionally rewarding dynamics of having a loved one with mental illness. It took courage for this daughter to write this book and I am thankful she did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Al Riske | 1/31/2014

    " This is a moving memoir about a choice we are sometimes forced to make -- the choice to save ourselves, even though it comes at the expense of someone we love deeply. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abbey | 1/28/2014

    " I don't know if this was the author's intended consequence but my reaction to the homeless has been much more loving and generous since reading this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodie | 1/24/2014

    " I ended up loving it! After losing my mom recently to cancer oddly enough it comforted me when i got towards the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mimi | 1/23/2014

    " Another 3.5 and & another book it took me more than half way through it to really like it, a harrowing non-fiction book about a mother, a brilliant pianist who is a schizophrenic, making the lives of her two artistic daughters so hellish that they change their names and don't see her for 17 years until she is dying. Obviously there is much guilt and sadness here. The books includes writings from the mother, wonderful drawings by the author, and appropriate quotes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mandy | 1/16/2014

    " This was a mixed bag for me. It was extremely well written by a talented author, but despite the fact that it is a memoir of the author's mother's mental illness, I found myself far more drawn to Mira's life. Not to sound cold, but there was a stagnancy and inevitability to the mother's story. I wanted to see how Mira's played out "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 1/15/2014

    " Just finished this book. I admit I skipped a huge portion in the middle. I can only take so much of someone's terrible life. The last paragraph was great and I'm glad I read it, but I don't think I missed anything by skipping the middle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helen | 4/22/2013

    " I started reading this after reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. It seemed much heavier, and I was not as drawn to it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Leilah | 1/7/2013

    " Only got 1/4 way through- but horribly depressing and nit very engaging...can't finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Serendipitous | 11/2/2012

    " What a wonderful story of the power of love amidst mental illness "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele Gauthier | 10/12/2012

    " Touching book but way too much narrative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geneva | 8/12/2012

    " This was my second time reading this memoir (It was this month's book club book) and it was just as good the second time through. Ms. Bartok's use of the present tense draws the reader into her struggle to deal, not only with her schizophrenic mother, but also with her own faulty memory. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianna | 3/24/2012

    " Such a sad, overwhelming story, but I simply could not put this book down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne | 1/11/2012

    " This is the most depressing thing I have read in a while. Given the subject matter, that shouldn't have surprised me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hendo | 1/6/2012

    " This wasn't exactly terrible, but I didn't find it particularly good either...the mentally unstable mother theme, though tragic, is getting a little old for me. Glad my mother is a religious fanatic instead of bipolar/pschitsophrenic... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathie | 12/21/2011

    " It was very good but very heavy!! Wow what a life and how did she survivie it!? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Taylor Pierson | 11/30/2011

    " I would have liked this book more, but it seemed to drag on. The things that were going on with her mother were more important, but weren't talked about as much as I would have liked. It was hard to get into. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Denise Lee | 6/16/2011

    " I may have to come back to this book. I had to put it down, was hard to follow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eoin | 5/21/2011

    " 4.8 A striking, beautiful, disturbing memoir about growing up with a schizophrenic mother. Remarkably readable for that complexity of both the events and the emotions. Worth it for subtle repetitions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 5/20/2011

    " Such a beautiful, lyrical story. The author masterfully pulls you into her experience of growing up with a schizophrenic mother. I couldn't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 5/19/2011

    " I wanted to like this more. Parts were very interesting, as the author provides insight into being the child of a mentally ill mother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 5/16/2011

    " Intriguing , captivating and sad. This one tugs at your heart. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelle | 5/9/2011

    " I really like her writing. It is different, but I enjoyed it and really appreciated her story. I can't believe what some people can endure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 5/9/2011

    " A heart-wrenching and captivating true story of living with a mother who has schizophrenia. The daily interactions, haunting stories and guilt over turning away from a loved one are wonderfully written. My heart was with Mira for the whole read. I'm glad I read this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 karen | 5/8/2011

    " Eh....I did not love the author, I felt more sorry for the mother that was not able to access help for her mental illness and practically no support from social services/police/doctors.

    I guess my family seems pretty normal after reading about this one! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Val | 5/5/2011

    " Hats off to Mira Bartok for writing this book about growing up with a schizophrenic mother, and bless her and her sister for all they endured, and for bringing to light this devestating illness. I hope
    this is read by many and that it opens their eyes to this illness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 5/3/2011

    " When I first started reading this it reminded me of Jeanette Walls Glass Castle. Anyone who had dealt with family members with mental illness will be particularly touched by the book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elizabeth | 5/2/2011

    " Some interesting tidbits in this memoir but author seems as kooky as her mother with some disconnected ramblings.... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shirlyn | 5/2/2011

    " couldn't finish, just very down and depressing, to much anger and language I didn't want to put in my head, if I had some familiarity with the subject it might mean more, but luckly I can not relate to this mental illness. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melanie | 4/27/2011

    " Why is it that everytime there is some best-seller out there that I see is a must read - I never think it is that great? Is there something wrong with me? Don't get me wrong, this was a good book, just nto as good as the literary world made it out to be. "

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