72 Hour Hold by the late Bebe Moore Campbell is a riveting tale of a single mother, Keri, struggling for resources for her adult daughter’s bipolar disorder. Fearing for her own life, Keri risks everything to intervene in her daughter, Trina’s, self-destructive decline; even if it means breaking the law. This powerful story touches on an issue that many American families have faced for decades.
Having exhausted every resource available, Keri looks for ways to force her daughter into taking her medications and receiving treatment beyond California’s involuntary 72 hour psychiatric hold for the mentally ill.
Her determination to save her daughter from herself is inspiring and heartbreaking. She often reflects on the progression of her daughter’s illness and the fruitless attempts for help. Memories of her beautiful daughter’s bizarre behavior at a very young age gives only the slightest inclination into the ebbing turmoil brewing in Trina’s mind as the once loving child become someone Keri fears.
Limited legally by California’s restrictions, Keri becomes desperate. The measures she takes not only gives insight to the struggles that parents of adult children with mentally illnesses face, but it exemplifies the old saying, “A parent’s job is never done!”
Bebe Moore Campbell does an exceptional job with this story, which had to have been most difficult as she knows all too well about the subject due to her own daughter’s struggles with the disorder. Once a prominent actress, Campbell’s daughter, Mia Campbell has become someone unrecognizable in appearance as well as character due to many factors that often affect adults with bipolar disorder. While reading 72 Hour Hold, it is hard not to wonder how much of the story did the author truly experience.
This book brings awareness to an illness that too many suffer with. I recommend 72 Hour Hold for anyone who likes to read realistic fiction with meaning. This story is truly insightful, powerful!
Review by Trinika A.