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72 Hour Hold
by Bebe Moore Campbell

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 1400040744

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


72 Hour Hold
Bebe Moore Campbell
Knopf, Jul 2005, $24.95
ISBN: 1400040744

In Los Angeles after all these failures Keri Whitmore somehow remains optimistic that the latest treatment will enable her daughter Trina to leave the nest to attend Brown University. However, after a wonderful eighteenth birthday, the day after arrived and Trina succumbs to her bipolar disorder turning back into the little girl who needs her “mommeee”. This reinforces to Keri her belief that mental illness can be somewhat controlled but never cured.

Making things more difficult for Keri is Trina’s dad refuses to accept his darling little girl suffers from a mental ailment. Though an expert who could become a consultant for other abused users by the American health care system, Keri struggles every time for Tina needs; the insurance and treatment poles insure big business never spends medical money on a patient without a war as their attitude is the same as her ex-spouse when it comes to mental health.

The key to this terrific tale is Trina’s illness seems genuine as it surfaces in many diverse little ways throughout the plot and how other characters react different towards her. For instance her mom belongs to a support group, always there to comfort Trina, not afraid to have her hospitalized in a 72 Hour Hold, or to fight the bureaucratic system. Tina’s father is in denial that an offspring of his would suffer mental illness; in fact that refutation represents much of America including the Black community which places mental health issues as stigmas on the soul. Tough condemning a health care system that has failed, Bebe Moore Campbell writes a thought provoking tale of a beleaguered mom giving up much of her life to nurture and love her wounded child.

Harriet Klausner


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