"Bebe Moore Campbell shatters our abstract notions about mental illness. . . . [She] is a writer at the top of her form as a storyteller, culture keeper and astute social critic." –Los Angeles Times
“A tightly woven, well-written story about mothers and daughters, highs and lows, ex-husbands and boyfriends, and how a ‘perfect’ life can be completely altered by something entirely beyond our control. . . . Universally touching.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Stark, incisive and often harrowing, 72 Hour Hold wrenches open the closet door behind which mental illness has been hidden in communities of color. It’s no small task, but Campbell handles it with characteristic verve and aplomb.” –The Baltimore Sun
“I am grateful for Bebe Moore Campbell. . . . Campbell fearlessly unveils the pain of loss and the ecstasy of love. Add to that courage, and the graceful ability to write very, very well.” –Maya Angelou
Keri Whitmore wishes that her daughter's bipolar disorder would merely lift, leaving Trini as the bright and beautiful young girl she once was. But Trini's malady is escalating, not receding, endangering her college prospects and terrorizing those around her. Desperate and confused, her loving mother searches frantically for a quick solution for these deeply ingrained problems. Her growing insights into the bonds of mental illness lend a credible edge to this emotional novel.
In 72 Hour Hold Campbell is particularly compelling in her depictions of substance abuse, attempts to self-medicate and the use of prisons as mental institutions. She seems to be saying to anyone who'll listen: It's biology and chemistry, get it? It's not about demonic possession or bad parenting. It's about accessible, affordable, ample and aggressive health care. To some extent, this is a novel for policymakers. It reveals the pain behind the statistics, the bewilderment of repetitive loss, the ebb and flow of hope against hope and, finally, the necessity of acceptance. It deserves a wide audience and the honest, open discussion that Campbell hopes to encourage.
The Washington Post
This powerful story of a mother trying to cope with her daughter's bipolar disorder reads at times like a heightened procedural. Keri, the owner of an upscale L.A. resale clothing shop, is hopeful as daughter Trina celebrates her 18th birthday and begins a successful-seeming new treatment. But as Trina relapses into mania, both their worlds spiral out of control. An ex-husband who refuses to believe their daughter is really sick, the stigmas of mental illness in the black community, a byzantine medico-insurance system-all make Keri increasingly desperate as Trina deteriorates (requiring, repeatedly, a "72 hour hold" in the hospital against her will). The ins and outs of working the mental health system take up a lot of space, but Moore Campbell is terrific at describing the different emotional gradations produced by each new circle of hell. There's a lesbian subplot, and a radical (and expensive) group that offers treatment off the grid may hold promise. The author of a well-reviewed children's book on how to cope with a parent's mental illness, Moore Campbell (What You Owe Me) is on familiar ground; she gives Keri's actions and decisions compelling depth and detail, and makes Trina's illness palpable. While this feels at times like a mission-driven book, it draws on all of Moore Campbell's nuance and style. 100,000 first printing; 17-city author tour. (July 5) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
To quote the review of the audiobook in KLIATT, March 2006: When Keri's teenage daughter, Trina, starts showing signs of erratic behavior and is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Keri hopes that the many conventional treatments and hospitalizations will succeed; but after one dangerous escape and escapade, she finally resorts to an unconventional treatment. Keri is one of those women who everyone counts on to know what has to be done and to do it without falling apart herself. This novel expresses the hope, despair, love, and hatred that are all part of trying to help a beloved child who is thrown off track by mental illness and the effect it can have on even the strongest mother. By placing the story in a middle-class African American family, Campbell tells a sad but familiar story in a different setting with new insights. The story of Trina's encounters with the various aspects of the mental health system and the damage they can create are almost as important as the story of her sickness and attempts at recovery. KLIATT Codes: SA--Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Random House, Anchor, 319p., $12.95.. Ages 15 to adult.
Los Angeles businesswoman Keri Whitmore has created a comfortable middle-class life for herself and her teenage daughter, Trina, who has just been accepted to an Ivy League college. Their well-ordered lives begin to unravel when Trina is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Determined to fix things, Keri gets help for her daughter and keeps her on a strict treatment and medication regimen. Things take a turn for the worse when Trina turns 18, and no longer legally empowered to control her daughter, Keri turns to unconventional methods to get what Trina needs. The title term refers to the length of time mental health facilities can hold and treat individuals after an episode. Campbell has crafted a compelling look at the mental health system and peppered her story with parallels to slavery and the work of the Underground Railroad. Unfortunately, Pamela D'Pella's monotone reading diminishes the power of Campbell's theme and prose so the text version is preferable.--Gwendolyn E. Osborne, Evanston, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Campbell's provocative fourth novel explores our culture's treatment of mental illness through the story of one mother's desperate attempts to save her manic-depressive teenaged daughter. Keri is the owner of a successful Los Angeles designer clothing resale shop. Her daughter Trina, headed to Brown on a National Merit scholarship, is diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 17 and put on medication. But Trina rebels against her mother's rules, experiments with alcohol and marijuana, and won't take her meds. Without them, she doesn't sleep for days, becomes violent when her mother tries to restrain her, and runs away. When she turns 18, she can no longer be signed into the hospital for involuntary care. To protect her daughter, Keri calls the police. If they judge that Trina is a danger to herself or others, or is seriously disabled, she can be held against her will in a hospital's mental ward for 72 hours. Each time this happens, Keri tries to get the hospital to extend the period so the medication that keeps Trina's disorder under control can become effective, but usually she's released at this point and goes back to her cycle of mania and depression. Meanwhile, the likable Keri has ongoing relationships with Orlando, an actor; his son, who trusts her enough to tell her he is gay before he is able to tell his parents; a support group for the loved ones of people with mental illnesses, and an ex-husband who puts work before family concerns and refuses to believe his daughter is ill. Through another suffering mother, Keri learns about an underground group of psychiatrists who "kidnap" patients like Trina, give them intensive therapy and save them from the most damaging effects of mentalillness. Using Underground Railroad metaphors, Campbell describes Keri's decision to make such an "intervention" and shows, through various twists and turns, how Keri and Trina change their lives. Campbell (What You Owe Me, 2001, etc.)transforms one mother's heartbreaking dilemma into a compassionate and suspenseful story that reverberates long after the final chapter is over. First printing of 100,000; author tour