Saturday, November 20, 2010

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know

Heather Sellers is a far stronger person than I will ever be. The fact she survived childhood with two dysfunctional, some may say crazy, parents is astounding.

Her father drank too much and was unstable. Her mother was obsessive and overly worried. Her mother was a picture of paranoia and her father just kind of let it be.

She spent most of her early life shuttling between homes when one got worse than the other. Which meant she also changed schools a lot. But her mother also had her switch schools occasionally because she was worried about people knowing too much information or the unseen people who always followed them. She barely escaped away to college and eve then, her crazy parents interfered and showed up.

Most perplexing in her life was how strangers would approach her and talk like they were friends. Or when everyone looked vaguely familiar but she could not place them. She lost friends because they thought she snubbed them in public. Or most embarrassing, she did not alert a friend that the people her friend was talking about were right behind her!

At first she thought she was mentally ill, especially after a run-in with a former boyfriend who inquired about her schizophrenic mother. Uh what??? Her mom was a schizophrenic??? How could she not have known? Was she crazy as well???

This prompted her to start researching and begin questioning. Who knew? Her dad wasn't telling any secrets. Was there a family history? Her mom never really let them see her family. Was she schizophrenic too?

Finally, she discovered the answer prosopagnosia. Face blindness. Heather could not remember people's faces. She used context clues to figure out who they were.

Face blindness is an extremely rare condition that not many people know about. Sellers has struggled to educate herself and others on the topic.

I really enjoyed the book. Her storytelling is fascinating and I enjoyed the changing time periods.

I wold recommend this book to others, especially if you like and enjoyed Jeannette Wells memoir, The Glass Castle.

Thanks to Lydia Hirt from G.P. Putnam's Sons / Riverhead for providing me this book to review. All opinions and thoughts are mine.

What is your favorite memoir? Have you ever heard of face blindness before?

1 comment:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I really want to read this book mainly because I am terrible at remembering faces (not obviously face blind but sometimes I feel like it). I'll remember tons of details about people but not what they look like, especially after just meeting them once. Whenever I watch crime shows and people explain what someone looked like to a sketch artist I'm like oh my god I could NEVER do that!

I'm glad you found my tutoring games to be helpful. I literally have probably 300 or more games because I basically make them for all the kids I tutor at least once a week to practice reading. I can't get through a tutoring session without a game- too long and boring! I change the clip art also to reflect what the kid likes... extra motivation is always good. I'll post more the next time I find myself with a free morning :) If you have any specific things you are working on with the kid let me know and I'll see if I have any games.