I have a really good book for you to read called The Painted Table written by Suzanne Field.
A beautiful heirloom ingrained with family memory has become a totem of a life Saffee would rather forget—a childhood disrupted by her mother’s mental illness.
Saffee does not want the table. By the time she inherits the object of her mother’s obsession, the surface is thick with haphazard layers of paint, and heavy with unsettling memories.
After a childhood spent watching her mother slide steadily into insanity, painting and re-painting the ancient table, Saffee has come to fear that seeds of psychosis may lie dormant within her. But as an adult with a family of her own, Saffee must confront her mother’s torment if she wants to defend herself against it.
Traversing four generations over the course of a century, The Painted Table is an epic portrait of inherited memory, proclivity, and guilt. It is a sprawling narrative affirmation that a family artifact—like a family member—can bear the marks of one’s entire past . . . as well as intimations of one’s redemption.My Thoughts:
I think sometimes people don't really understand others that have mental issues and this book is a painful reminder how much those people suffer. I don't think anyone intentionally decides one day that they are going to be weird or mentally unstable, it just happens.
Saffee doesn't know it but the seed of mental unstability was set into motion with her grandmother, Clara who died in childbirth with her last daughter. She had always been a little off but was able to function back then. It is Joann, Saffee's mother, that really gets most of the attention because she is obsessed with her mother's table and the painting of it.
When Joann finally has a stroke and has to be cared for 100% until the day she dies, I think it finally sets Saffee free. I think she finally gets where her mother was coming from and decides to live her life to the best of her ability and to stop being so afraid.
After all, what kind of life can you have if all you do is worry? You are letting the good years go by and not enjoying what time you do have. All of the years she wasted worrying for nothing, she could have been having the time of her life! That's a good lesson to learn, no matter what age you are.
I hope that if someone in your family doesn't quite seem all together there, that this book will be a wake up call for all of you. Help is just right around the corner if you are willing to accept it!