The memory palace / Mira Bartók.
Author: Bartók, Mira.
Edition: 1st Free Press trade pbk. ed.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, c2011.
Description: 305 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Subject: Herr, Norma Kurap, 1926-2007.
Children of the mentally ill United States Biography.
Mentally ill parents United States Biography.
Notes: Includes reading group guide and author Q&A.
Summary: Before she was struck with schizophrenia at the age of nineteen, beautiful pianist Norma Herr had been the most vibrant personality in the room. She loved her daughters and did her best to raise them well, but as her mental state deteriorated, Norma spoke less about Chopin and more about Nazis and her fear that her daughters would be kidnapped, murdered, or raped. When the girls left for college, the harassment escalated- Norma called them obsessively, appeared at their apartments or jobs, threatened to kill herself if they did not return home. After a traumatic encounter, Mira and her sister were left with no choice but to change their names and sever all contact with Norma in order to stay safe. Then one day, Mira's life changed forever after a debilitating car accident. As she struggled to recover from a traumatic brain injury, Mira reached out to the homeless shelter where she believed her mother was living and discovered that Norma was dying. At the hospital, Mira discovered a set of keys that opened a storage unit Norma had been keeping for seventeen years. Filled with family photos, childhood toys, and ephemera from Norma's life, the storage unit brought back a flood of previous memories that Mira had thought were lost to her forever.