Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell

Olivia Reed is a mom of two-Daniel & Carrie- she suffers from bi-polar disorder. Her young son Daniel, is in early on-set of her disease. As we learn through flash backs, Olivia's mom, Myla also suffered from the disorder, although Olivia wasn't to know that as a child.
She left Ocean Vista, her childhood home, at fifteen, running away from the chaos that was her home life. Now separated from her husband and twenty years later, she is taking her two children on a journey back for a vacation before their permanent move to NYC. Daniel somehow walks away on one of the piers while Olivia & Carrie are distracted and so begins a frantic search for him also triggers an overwhelming pull of the past as she searches in places that she lived as a child. We find out just how difficult it was growing up with a mentally ill  gypsy for a mom, who would disappear for days at a time leaving her daughter to fend for herself. A mom who told fantasies about her miscarried twins, who were given a nursery in the home and treated as if they lived.. what a bizzarre world to live in.
This story narrated by Olivia, is a tale that weaves in and out of normal and crazy..typical and wild…but it is all brought so wonderfully coherent by author Cornwell.
I really enjoyed this book, I found it hard to put it down..very well written. Cozy up by the fire on a snowy weekend, this book is perfect for it.

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