Still, At Your Door: A Fictional Memoir
This is a beautifully written borderline tragedy of three young sisters who have lived their lives in less than desirable circumstances due to a mentally ill mother and her abusive husband. Bri, Missy, and Gracie want what all children want; a stable home, a real school, and stability. Suffering from bi-polar disorder, their mother Shiela is a train wreck who drinks too much and thinks she will be an actress someday. After a fight and a black eye, she drops the girls at her parents’ house in New York. Telling the girls to go on upstairs and that she will be right back, she instead returns to the taxi and departs.
Still At Your Door: A Fictional Memoir is a story you have heard a hundred times, but each time is just as somber as the next. The sisters are a perfect portrayal of so many children living all around us, even some we might know, whose childhoods are cut short by irresponsible parents, poor choices, and mental disorders. While these girls have grandparents to turn to, that often is not the case, and author Emma Eden Ramos slightly touches on the horrors that can often result in the foster care system.
As girls mature they need that strong role model in their life to guide them away from poor choices; however, when you’ve only seen poor choices being made, you are prone to also engage in those actions. Bri has basically become the mother of two girls despite still being a teen herself. This shows just how fragile and vulnerable a young person’s life is, and Ramos brings those elements into the story, limiting the dramatics but still making you, the reader, want to wrap the girls in your arms and protect them.
While there at first seems to be a deficiency in description and character and world development, surprisingly, Still At Your Door becomes one of those unique stories where less is more. This quick read flows smoothly from beginning to end, and is filled with glimpses of how life ought to be, but how for three young girls it greatly missed the mark. It provides readers with a deeper understanding of the physical and emotional effects of mental illness on the family as a whole and the need for broader awareness to allow children to maintain their childhood in innocence. This beautifully written book is one I would recommend for readers of any age.
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