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5.0 out of 5 stars hope
The first time I read this book, I was struck by her suffering, I could not bear to read it all. With about a fourth of the book left, I skipped to the end and read it backwards. Glad for an ending that seemed hopeful. This time I read the book normally, knowing what would happen and not as worried for an end I couldn't read.
The poetry in this book traces out a past...
Published on May 27 2003 by Mindy

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of recovered memory therapy
Although written in a compelling, poetic style, The Memory Room, by Mary Rakow
(Counterpoint Press, 2002) is a classic if unintended presentation of how recovered memory
therapy can ruin someone's life. The novel rests on the idea that memories of horrendous
traumatic events can be "repressed" or "dissociated," and that people can then recall them...
Published on April 16 2002 by Mark H. Pendergrast


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5.0 out of 5 stars hope, May 27 2003
By 
Mindy (St. Paul, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
The first time I read this book, I was struck by her suffering, I could not bear to read it all. With about a fourth of the book left, I skipped to the end and read it backwards. Glad for an ending that seemed hopeful. This time I read the book normally, knowing what would happen and not as worried for an end I couldn't read.
The poetry in this book traces out a past that almost feels like it could be mine. Yours. Any readers. I read a review of this book where the reader complained that memory does not work this way. That the story is ridiculous for it's portrayal of repressed memories. I don't know the truth of that, and I don't care to. This book is not about repressed memories as much as it is about confronting our fears. Reaching deep inside of ourselves, through all sorts of darkness, to find whatever hope and love and beauty that we can.
This book is beautiful. It is entirely characterized by this quotation: "A conspiracy of language gently bending my perception in a more hopeful arc." I found hope in this book.
It reminded me to focus on the things that I love rather than the things that I fear. The first time I read it, I needed that reminder very badly. Today, I'm just glad to once again realize that there is a great deal of beauty in the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, July 30 2002
By 
Y. Rowe (Boston) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
This book was incredible from start to finish! Mary enables you to explore your past safely, walk through the present gently, and guide you into the future with comfort and assurance.
I highly recommend this book for anyone dealing w/a haunitng past.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I did not want this book to end., July 21 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Long Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
Mary Rakow's prose knocks your socks off, I am now a fan of her Paul Celan as well. It is not an easy book but one well worth the effort. I am buying this book as gifts for very special people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I did not want this book to end., July 21 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Long Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
Mary Rakow's prose knocks your socks off, I am now a fan of her Paul Celan as well. It is not an easy book but one well worth the effort.
I am buying this book to give as gifts to very special people. I eagerly await her next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars redefining the form, May 15 2002
By 
Candace Pearson (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
Most novels are content to follow a basic pattern of beginning, middle, end. Occasionally, very occasionally, a novel will come along that redefines the form. Mary Rakow's "The Memory Room" is a striking example. Yes, there is a plot, there is a back story, but these things, effective as they are, matter less than Rakow's pure inventiveness with language, thought, image - all the tools at our command with which we communicate.
This book takes the kind of risks that reward readers who care about writing. The story transcends its particulars to express a universal desire in us all: the desire to be recognized, to recognize ourselves, and become more whole. If that sounds ponderous, don't be mistaken. This is, as the phrase goes, a good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good writing, scary reading, May 14 2002
By 
james p laughlin (guana cay,bahamas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
Briefly, the beautiful and courageous writing outway the
terrifying details and 'memory' the book leaves the reader
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Memory Room: A compelling and accessible read, May 14 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
Mary Rakow in the novel,The Memory Room, explores in an amazingly graceful literary style which is both poetic and prosaic, the journey toward recovery of a woman with repressed memory. The main character, Barbara, is a professor of theology, and is experiencing a mental breakdown because of sudden awareness of repressed memories. What I loved is the way Ms. Rakow used the poetry of Paul Celan and the wonderful psalms from the bible to further enhance her wonderful writing. At first glance, I was not sure of the novel's form, as I am not used to reading a novel in both verse and prose forms, though I do love poetry. But Ms. Rakow's style is so accessible as well as compelling, I found it a fast read. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates a literary style near perfection as well as a compelling plot. The reader is in suspense until the end. I think Ms. Rakow has accomplished the rare feat of writing a suspenseful novel which is also an artistic gem. reader Los angeles Ca.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, May 14 2002
By 
"kyuska" (Tucson, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
I loved this book! First of all, the writing is exquisite -- poetic, compelling, restrained. The novel's pace strikes the perfect note. Rakow's masterful interweaving of poetry and prose, of religion, psychology and art, serves the story well and mercifully prevents the subject of childhood abuse from sinking into the grotesque or sensational. Rather, it brings it to a level of universality, and moves the reader to compassion.
This is a breathtaking masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful novel, May 14 2002
By 
Madeline White (Eureka, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
I was so surprised by the Memory Room. I picked it up not knowing what to expect and I found that it fed me mentally and spiritually more than anything else in my life for the past two years! Now, I know that's not saying much for my life, but I need to impress upon you that any time spent with Mary Rakow's novel will be time spent pondering the most essential quesitons about human nature and that every reader will be given a gift with Rakow's eloquent prose. I absolutely loved it. It was intelligent, graceful and ambitious.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, May 13 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Memory Room (Hardcover)
I am a graduate student of creative writing and I am now in debt to Rakow and to my professor, who recommended this novel. Rakow's artistry has deeply invigorated my own writing and raised the trajectory of my development, as few other works have.
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The Memory Room
The Memory Room by Mary Rakow (Hardcover - March 7 2002)
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