Customer Reviews for

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face Blindness, and Forgiveness

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2010

    Rollercoaster Read Requires Realistic Review

    Prepare yourself for sorrow and stark reality in You Don't Look like Anyone I Know. Illness propels this memoir, but the author's self-discovery of her face blindness and demands that her neurologist properly diagnose her, far outweighed any disquietude experienced by this reader. Coping with face blindness, the inability to recognize faces reliably seemed to me a secondary theme of this incredible memoir. Ms. Sellers' real triumph was surviving the war zone created by the illnesses of her parents. Her mother's paranoid tendencies, magnified by her protective instincts toward her children, were bizarre. Desperately desirous but fearful of seeing her father, Sellers manages to come to grips with his philandering and cross-dressing. In her book trailer, Ms. Sellers explains that prosopagnosia is a memory not a visual problem. She writes charitably and honestly about the family that branded her the crazy one. I didn't mind that her writing lacked cohesion at times. I thought it accurately reflected the chaos of her childhood. She manages to keep enough distance between herself and her story that I saw no self-pity. Rather she spoke graciously of her parents. At the end of her memoir she states that "deeply flawed love and deeply flawed vision can coexist." Reviewing a disturbing book is difficult. Many other reviewers have complained about yet another "disturbing childhood/dysfunctional family memoir." I agree many of those exist, but I submit that a book review is just that-a comment on the world the author has painted, not a woe-is-me about the reviewer's reading history. Despite the title, I found this memoir less about face blindness and more about the strength Ms. Sellers gleaned from her survival and her courage to trust her own perceptions. For a comfortable, relaxing read, find a romance novel. To unearth hard-hitting reality, sink your teeth into You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know.

    Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Interesting....but....

    I had expected more! Although I found Heather Sellers' writing style pulling me in, I kept thinking there would be more that what I got. Don't get me wrong...I enjoyed the book, learning about prosopagnosia and what Heather endured but some of her story read like fiction. I sometimes forgot that it was a biography because some of it seemed a little far-fetched. It was OK....and I can't say that I wouldn't recommend....but I'd be picky who I recommended it to.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The strength of the human spirit shines through

    Heather Sellers can't recognize faces. Not just faces of people she knows casually, but her coworkers, her family, her boyfriend and his sons. She has had this problem her entire life, but didn't know she had a problem; she thought everyone processed faces the way she did. Perhaps Heather didn't realize she had a problem, because there were bigger issues in her family. Her parents had mental health concerns, but as a child, it is hard to recognize that when that is your normal. Her mother was most likely a paranoid schizophrenic; she refused to answer the phone and put blankets up to cover the windows she nailed shut. Her father left the family, and when Heather could no longer take living with her mother, she moved in with Dad. He secretly wore woman's clothes and had a major drinking problem. How Heather managed to survive living with her parents is a tribute to the strength of the human spirit. Heather never married, but in her late thirties, she met a wonderful man named Dave, who had two sons, and was divorced from his wife, who had mental illness. Because of his ex-wife, Heather felt that Dave would understand her, and he did. But Dave had issues too. Heather and Dave eventually married, but they lived in separate homes in the same city because they couldn't agree on purchasing a home. Dave had bad credit problems, and he was rather casual about parenting. Heather's face recognition issue led to problems at work; she would pass by her colleagues and ignore them because she didn't recognize them. They felt she was snobbish and rude. Imagine the stress of living your whole life constantly afraid that you would run into someone you knew. Eventually, she dug around and found a diagnosis for her: prosopagnosia. Once she had a diagnosis, she found a doctor who could help her. She appeared on the Today Show, which was a big step for her, admitting her problem to the world at large. You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know will appeal to fans of Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle. Both women survived difficult childhoods with mentally ill parents, and because of that, they became strong adults. Sellers had the added problem of her condition, which she at times feared was a manifestation of mental illness, like her mother's. She writes with brutal honestly about herself, her parents, her boyfriend, and her indomitable spirit shines through. I admired her ability to basically raise her self and take care of her parents. It must have been difficult to write about her childhood, and she doesn't blame her parents or feel sorry for herself, which is remarkable. I did find her relationship with her husband frustrating, and was glad when she resolved it. Reading this book made me a little more empathetic to people around me; you just never know what they are going through.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 12, 2010

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    Posted October 19, 2010

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