Cover Image: Half of a Whole

Half of a Whole

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Member Reviews

I trust that Ms Haus found the writing of this honest and candid memoir cathartic, but I actually found it tedious and self-pitying after a while, and self-indulgent in the extreme. In it she explores in particular her relationship with her twin brother who later developed mental health problems. It’s obvious she suffered because of this, and also in the lack of connection with her mother, but it didn’t seem to me that she had such a bad time of it compared to many other families. Her mother certainly didn’t manage to meet Ms Haus’s needs, but we never get to hear the mother’s own thoughts and feelings, so it’s hard to judge to what extent the author is an unreliable narrator here. She accuses her mother of favouritism towards her twin brother but it seems her mother was simply trying to protect her less able son. I enjoyed the first half of the book when she explores her family history and describes farming life in Minnesota, the daily grind, the hard work, and I also enjoyed hearing of her forebears’ immigration to the area. But other people’s dreams are never as interesting as the teller thinks they are, nor is someone else’s therapy, and this later part of the book failed to engage me. Certainly Marvin’s story is a tragic one, but I’m not sure Marilyn’s is.
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this was an interesting one! i hate reviewing nonfiction because it’s someone’s life but this was extremely interesting, i learnt a lot and did really enjoy.
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It seemed to me this book was more about Marilyn’s relationship with her mother than her twin brother, at least it was more interesting to me. Unfortunately, i also have a strained relationship with my mother so i can definitely relate. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for yourself is stay away from toxic people, even if they are family.   It felt like Marilyn finally got some peace from the relationship with her mother and brother. 

Also enjoyed the description of the family farm. Brought back lots of memories of growing up on a farm.   

There were a few places that I felt confused or out of the loop or some more explanations were needed but perhaps it’s the uncorrected copy. All in all a nice memoir. Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book.
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Found this book quite boring to be honest. Not my cup of tea. I downloaded it with high hopes, but the writing was sort of dry and once I put it down, I didn't feel like picking it up.
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Half of a Whole explores the intimate bond between a twin brother and sister, the cruel consequences that occur when one of them becomes mentally ill, and the courage required to break away when love is not enough. I was really emotionally drawn to this book and the topic of mental health. A very emotional story that will rip your heart.
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This is very hard to follow. I was not a fan. Some may like it, I did not. It did not read well. I really wanted to like it more.
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I received an advance copy of, Half of a Whole, by Marilyn Peterson Haus.  Having a family member with a mental illness, is not usually talked about.  This book tells the story of mental illness within a family.
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Half of a Whole has a lot of pent up emotions. I enjoyed reading about the author’s life on a farm in Minnesota. I really enjoyed all the family history she shared. The second half of the book turns into a much different story: family fractures, disagreements, hurt feelings. The author struggled to have a good relationship with her mother, who seemed to favor her twin brother, who dealt with mental illness. It was an interesting read.
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