This an autobiography that chronicles Ms. Angelou's life until early adulthood. She tells of being raised by her grandmother in Arkansas and her adventures in and California with her mother.
I enjoyed her descriptions of life in the South. Although I am of a later generation, the feelings and fears that she described seemed familiar. I, too, had a superstitious grandmother from Arkansas, so I understood some of the rules. Because of her frank descriptions of the misbehaviors of others, I found myself wondering if the folks she described upset that she had described their actions.
As she described her attempts to find herself, I often wanted to hug her and let her know that someone understands her. I felt empathy for the girl that she was. I am thankful for the woman that she has become.
While the scenes describing her victimization as a child were startling for me, I can't imagine that I would forbid my daughters from reading it. I might wait until they are in high school, though.
The Yellow Wallpaper
I found this short story while adding to my pile for the readathon. It was written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
It is about a woman in the late nineteenth century who apparently suffers from postpartem depression before the diagnosis had a name. Her husband is a doctor who believes that there is nothing wrong with her and forces her to rest. She is confined to a room in which she becomes obsessed with the wallpaper.
While I'm not sure that depression leads to a break in reality, it was scary to think of this poor woman losing her mind will she hides it from those who care for her.