He Came In With It

A Portrait of Motherhood and Madness

Narrated by Ann Richardson
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Pub Date Jul 21 2020 | Archive Date Dec 08 2020
Dreamscape Media | Turner Publishing

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In an idyllic Los Angeles neighborhood, where generations of families enjoy deep roots in old homes, the O’Rourke family fits right in. Miriam and Craig are both artists and their four children carry on the legacy. When their teenage son, Nick, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, a tumultuous decade ensues in which the family careens permanently off the conventional course.
Like the ten Biblical plagues, they are hit by one catastrophe after another, violence, evictions, arrests, a suicide attempt, a near-drowning…even cancer and a brain tumor…play against the backdrop of a wild teenage bacchanal of artmaking and drugs. With no time for hand-wringing, Miriam advances, convinced she can fix everything, while a devastated Craig retreats to their property in rural Washington State as home becomes a battlefield.
It is while cleaning out a closet, that Miriam discovers a cache of drawings and journals written by Nick throughout his spiral into schizophrenia. She begins a solitary forensic journey into the lonely labyrinth of his mind. This is the story of how mental illness unspools an entire family. As Miriam fights to reclaim her son from the ruthless, invisible enemy, we are given an unflinching view into a world few could imagine. It exposes the shocking shortfalls of our mental health system, the destructive impact of stigma, shame and isolation, and, finally, the falsity of the notion of a perfect family. Throughout the book, it is the family’s ability to find humor in the absurdities of this life that saves them. It is a parable that illustrates the true definition of a good life, allowing for the blemishes and mistakes that are part of the universal human condition. He Came In With It is the legacy of, and for, her son Nick.

In an idyllic Los Angeles neighborhood, where generations of families enjoy deep roots in old homes, the O’Rourke family fits right in. Miriam and Craig are both artists and their four children carry...

Advance Praise

“Captivating, moving, and masterfully wrought, Miriam Feldman’s story invites us inside the most intimate of worlds: a family’s heart and soul. While our journey is not without discomfort, it is also full of humor, joy, love, and inspiration. I marvel at the resiliency of the human spirit revealed in this brilliant memoir; He Came In With It is a redemption story for the ages." –Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

 “…a cleansing narrative that should inspire mothers―and other caregivers―to rise up, unite, and breathe hot new life into the drooping cause of mental healthcare reform.”― Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author of No One Cares About Crazy People

"A master storyteller, Miriam Feldman reveals the terrible toll schizophrenia inflicts on a loving family and exposes the frustrating deficiencies in our inadequate mental health care system. Ultimately, this book is a testament to the enduring power of a mother’s love and the family bond born from facing hardships that is certain to inspire. From one parent of an adult son with a serious mental illness to another - bravo - bravo!" ―Pete Earley, author of Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, finalist 2007 Pulitzer Prize

"Miriam Feldman’s He Came in With It blazes open the heart of motherhood with devastating honesty and dazzling beauty. This book is about what lives between a mother and son who struggle to navigate mental illness. Turns out what lives there is heart and art, messy, chaotic, traumatic and breathtakingly beautiful. I would follow Miriam anywhere. She is a heart warrior and an art mother who shows us how to endure, and thrive." ―Lidia Yuknavitch, national bestselling author of Verge and The Chronology of Water

"What a brilliant book! Heartbreaking and illuminating, this a shattering story about the failures of our society―and the triumph of love. Miriam Feldman has written a doozy of a memoir. Put this on your must-read list." ―Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder and The Butterfly Girl

”A compelling and moving account of a mother's coming to terms with her son's schizophrenia, at times hopeful about her son and at times despairing. No one understands as well as a fellow sufferer and this book will be a source of understanding, strength and hope for the families of a person with schizophrenia. A really powerful book." ―Elyn Saks, Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California and bestselling author of The Center Cannot Hold

 “To know that you are not alone in this loneliest and most emotionally difficult of all family situations is a great gift, a comfort and source of strength. And Mimi Feldman is the one you want as your mentor, your guide.”― Janet Fitch, New York Times bestselling author of White Oleander

"Miriam Feldman has written the most powerful, honest, and poetic memoir about how mental illness decimates entire families, and yet, I closed He Came In With It filled with a surprising amount of grace and real hope that this book will ignite a revolution among mothers who care for someone with a mental illness. Read it, share it, praise it. It’s that good." ―Sheila Hamilton, author of All the Things We Never Knew, Emmy award-winning journalist and host of the podcast Beyond Well

“Miriam Feldman is the face of art: on one side you have a remarkable painter, the other a master of language and words-and in between-a heart big enough to power a city. Her writing is necessary and important. She is a vital voice on mental health, motherhood and love.” ―Jennifer Pastiloff, national bestselling author of On Being Human

"We watched Miriam become a five-star general in a war against the insidious adversary which threatened to claim the life of her Beautiful Boy. In He Came in With It, she shows us the way through an unimaginable terror to the light of hope. She is our Hero." ―LaTanya and Samuel L. Jackson, actors

"At its heart, Miriam Feldman’s stunning memoir is a war story. One of indefatigable heroism... artfully told with raw and unmitigated honesty. At once heartbreaking, cathartic and startlingly funny, He Came in With It thoroughly redefines our conception of unconditional love." ―Tony Shaloub, actor, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Monk

“He Came in With It is a profoundly moving and important book. Like almost everyone in America, Jay and I have dealt with mental illness in our extended family. The pervasiveness of this problem is belied by people’s reluctance to speak about it. With great courage and humility (and humor!), Miriam Feldman takes it head on, bringing us into the hidden world of mental illness that is crying for the light of day. You will never forget this book.” –Mavis Leno, philanthropist and chair of the Feminist Majority’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan

 “…a compelling, moving story…It was an honor to read it.”― Jenny Allen, author of Would Everyone Please Stop

 "He Came in With It blew my mind. It is an unflinching portrait of an artistic family rocked by mental illness and brought back together by love. This book is a brave undertaking and an incredibly important story that Miriam Feldman has gifted the world." --Nat Wolff, actor, Paper Towns and The Fault in our Stars

"Miriam Feldman's book He Came In With It tells a tale of shock and awe as she relentlessly, fearlessly navigates the storm of her son’s mental illness. Her determination and strength are inspiring! A must-read for ALL mothers."– Patricia Heaton, actor, Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle

 “...absolutely brilliant and full of humanity and (thankfully) hope.” – Polly Draper, actor, writer and director

“’When sorrow is the underbelly, laughter can be the smooth glistening pelt above.’ Miriam's book is tantalizing. She weaves the story throughout all the bodies involved, shaking the foundation. Feldman does this all while moving the reader through with great imagery and details from calmness to chaos with the lingering question of: was there ever a clear path to madness, or do we only revere the storms that surround it?” –Nastashia Minto, Author of Naked

“Captivating, moving, and masterfully wrought, Miriam Feldman’s story invites us inside the most intimate of worlds: a family’s heart and soul. While our journey is not without discomfort, it is...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781662004308
PRICE $24.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

Audiobook for me and I really enjoyed the narrator. One of the best I’ve heard. Highly recommend it.
This is my second book on schizophrenia and I loved it.
I’m originally from California so I clearly understand all of the story and the places in this book.
I was moved by the authors honesty. Watching her take me through her tough decisions, such as.
*Banning her son from the house.
*His Homelessness because of it.
*Drugs use.
*The Violence, and so much more.

I completely understood her tantrum toward God, and it really spoke to me. I know the raw crippling pain of a dysfunctional life. When you’re trying to find “normal”. It all feels like it just to much. Anybody understand what I’m saying?
If you want to get a glimpse of this mental illness and read a well written novel, then this is the book for you.

Thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for this great audiobook in exchange for my honest review.

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He Came In With It by Miriam Feldman was able to pull me into this mother's life and her account of the events that led up to her son's diagnosis of schizophrenia. She second-guesses every decision she made and every conversation she had with her boy. The way the illness completely changed the person her son was and how others saw him in school and church affected Nick and how his mother went from thinking she was doing well as a mother and then when Nick started declining she tried to cover for him and as a result led to her mental health getting worse as well as Nick's. Overall this book is great for those interested in mental illness or those who just want a better understanding of what families go through and what did and did not work.

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