Grief, Loss, Death & Dying
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
A Brief History of DeathA Commonsense Book of DeathA Message from JakieAfter SuicideAfter You'd GoneAfterwardsAliveAll Alone in the UniverseAll Rivers Flow to the SeaAll Seasons PassAnd a Time to DieAt the End of WordsBeing with DyingBequest and BetrayalBereftBeyond GoodbyeBeyond the Good DeathBodies in Motion and at RestCatalystComfortConfessions of a Grieving ChristianContemplative AgingCoping With TraumaCrispinDarwin's WormsDeathDeath and CompassionDeath BenefitsDeath in the ClassroomDeath Is That Man Taking NamesDeath of a ParentDeath's DoorDefining the Beginning and End of LifeDon't Go Where I Can't FollowDriving My FatherDying in the Twenty-First CenturyElegy for IrisErasing DeathEthical WillsEvenings at FiveExtreme MeasuresFacing Death: Elisabeth Kubler-RossFatal AttachmentsFortress of My YouthGhost at the WindowGoing Through Hell Without Help From AboveGood GriefGoodbye RuneGraceful ExitsGrave MattersGrieving for ChildrenHealing ConversationsHello from Heaven!History of SuicideHonoring GriefHonoring the Dead and Facing DeathHow We GrieveI Remain in DarknessI Wasn't Ready to Say GoodbyeIn the Wake of SuicideIt Takes a Worried ManLayoverLearning to FallLiberating LossesLife after LossLiving and Dying WellLosing Mum and PupLossLost in the ForestLove Is a Mix TapeLove That DogMaking Sense of SuicideMars and Venus - Starting Over.Michael Rosen's Sad BookMortal DilemmasNight Falls FastNobody's Child AnymoreOlive's OceanOn Life After DeathOne Last Hug Before I GoOne More WednesdayParting CompanyPeaceful Death, Joyful RebirthR.I.P.Reason's GriefRemembering GeorgySaying It Out LoudSeeing the CrabShooterSome Thing BlackSpeak to MeStandbyStayStill HereSuicidal ThoughtsSurviving HitlerThe Art of LosingThe AwakeningThe Boy on the Green BicycleThe Cambridge Companion to Life and DeathThe Case of Terri SchiavoThe Color of AbsenceThe Dead Fathers ClubThe Death of a ChildThe DisappearanceThe End-of-Life HandbookThe Forgotten MournersThe Healing Journey Through GriefThe Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related DisordersThe Lovely BonesThe Measure of Our DaysThe Mercy PapersThe MiracleThe Modern Art of DyingThe Other Side of SadnessThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of DeathThe ScarThe TravelersThe Trick Is to Keep BreathingThe Truth About GriefThe UndertakingThe Way of TransitionThe Work of MourningTo Die WellTuesdays with MorrieUnderstanding GriefWakeWhat Dying People WantWhen Breath Becomes AirWitWrinklesYoung@Heart

Related Topics
BereftReview - Bereft
A Sister's Story
by Jane Bernstein
North Point Press, 2000
Review by Nancy Leake
Oct 16th 2001 (Volume 5, Issue 42)

"I was the one who had tried to put an ocean between my past and present. I was the one who had left on the distant shore my old name and all my history and now was stuck in this hazy place....unaware that I was searching for my heart, my feelings, myself." Bernstein delves into her sister Laura's murder and how it changed everything, living, loving, and existing. Laura was stabbed to death while chaining her bicycle at the back of Casa Loma Hotel in Tempe, Arizona, in 1966. Four stabs to the body, two to the head. Jane, then known as Martha (she shed the name to leave herself behind), was 17 years old at the time. Her and her parents began the victims' dance of distancing themselves from Laura whom stopped existing, never died, never lived.

For 23 years Laura was not mentioned, and the relationship between Jane and her parents ceased. Her parents "fell into a deep sleep as soon as I came home." That can be said for Jane's feelings as well; she stopped remembering her sister. The girl Jane loved and lived in the same room with did not affect her anymore. Not until, Jane began to investigate the case. The next five years, Jane cares for the case more than her sister. This lack of feeling spread throughout her life. She suffered from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

This passionate memoir is the imprint of a murder on the victims left behind. A cleansing -- "It was as if I'd been locked in a kind of prison myself and was only now seeing all the ways the world had changed." Jane lives through the Vietnam War and the 60's, and suddenly awakes in the 90's as she begins to remember her sister and face her loss. Readers will share this heart-wrenching insight into the tale of a damaged woman.

Victims prepared to connect with another suffering soul should read Bereft. Bernstein's ordeal of denial, separation, continued victimization, questioning, and, finally, acceptance may find help with their healing. Although Bernstein never appears to become angry, she deals with the idea of the murderer David Mumbaugh's possible release. I was prepared to dislike this topic, but her systematic analysis of the murderer's previous life, then his behavior in prison, and his possible return to society is so logical that she wins me over.

Memoirs are often promotional vehicles or pity parties to the extent that the reader plods through repetitious trivia, not so with Bereft. Bernstein uses her experience of novel writing, and teaching English at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to entertain the reader with a realistic, open style. Jane Bernstein has won a place at the top of my list to check for future releases.

© 2001, Nancy B. Leake, Reviewer All Rights Reserved

Nancy Leake writes about herself:

I am a retired family nurse practitioner turned freelance business writer. I write book reviews for various places and will be reinventing my review site WriteTimeWritePlace Reviews shortly. I have written a monthly column, "Market Watch," and have been published in many newsletters; webzines; and magazines, including Advance for the Nurse Practitioner; in a poetry anthology "In the Company of Women"; and have contributed to the "Management Guidelines for Adult Nurse Practitioners" by Lynne M. Hektor. I live in Fort Lauderdale with my husband and Bezel, my spoiled parrot.

This review first appeared online Sept 2, 2001


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7900 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716