• He Came in with It

  • A Portrait of Motherhood and Madness
  • By: Miriam Feldman
  • Narrated by: Ann Richardson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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He Came in with It

By: Miriam Feldman
Narrated by: Ann Richardson
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Publisher's Summary

In an idyllic Los Angeles neighborhood, where generations of families enjoy deep roots in old homes, the O’Rourke family fits right in. Miriam and Craig are both artists and their four children carry on the legacy. When their teenage son, Nick, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, a tumultuous decade ensues in which the family careens permanently off the conventional course. 

Like the 10 Biblical plagues, they are hit by one catastrophe after another: violence, evictions, arrests, a suicide attempt, a near-drowning - even cancer and a brain tumor - play against the backdrop of a wild teenage bacchanal of artmaking and drugs. With no time for hand-wringing, Miriam advances, convinced she can fix everything, while a devastated Craig retreats to their property in rural Washington State as home becomes a battlefield. 

It is while cleaning out a closet that Miriam discovers a cache of drawings and journals written by Nick throughout his spiral into schizophrenia. She begins a solitary forensic journey into the lonely labyrinth of his mind. 

This is the story of how mental illness unspools an entire family. As Miriam fights to reclaim her son from the ruthless, invisible enemy, we are given an unflinching view into a world few could imagine. It exposes the shocking shortfalls of our mental-health system, the destructive impact of stigma, shame, and isolation, and, finally, the falsity of the notion of a perfect family. Throughout the book, it is the family’s ability to find humor in the absurdities of this life that saves them.

©2020 Miriam Feldman (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about He Came in with It

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So Beautifully Written

Miriam! Wow! You had me on the verge of tears that always ended in laughter or smile and curiosity for more. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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Lovely, yet so hard

You certainly show to what extremes a mom will go to in order to care for her child. Thank you for sharing your story, as it’s helpful for others dealing with the same illness, similar lack of health care and ignorance of so many. I could not have read this at the onset of my daughter’s illness, but we are a few years in, and she is stable and well. I think your book would be an excellent book club book for those who do not know much about serious mental illness.

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Compelling

Couldn’t put it down. I would hope that it be widely read so that more people, especially teachers, understand what schizophrenia is like.

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Thank you for sharing your story!

I heard about your book on Mary Rogers’ podcast and so glad I got it. You are funny and strong and make me feel not alone.

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life changing story

This book was captivating from start to finish. The way that the author told her story was so real it was as if I was there experiencing it myself. My view on how I see others has definitely changed because I was reminded that you cant truly know what someone's going through just by seeing them on the surface. This story brings mental health into the spotlight and should be read by everyone.

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Beautiful account of a mother's painful journey

I was struck by the honesty of the author's struggle to understand and accept her son's mental illness. It's so difficult to let go of what we envision our kids' lives will be, and so much more so when they are lost to us. I think Feldman captured the devastation, panic, exhaustion, all of it, so movingly. In her case, additional trauma pushed her to the breaking point. Still, there is humor and self-deprecation in her account. Just a very successful effort.

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  • Tamara Nikolic
  • 08-04-20

Don't look for answers here

In the book, the author describes how she wrote her daughter's essay, which was then marked with a C. It's the mark I'd say this book deserves. It's full of cliches, doesn't ring true at times, and at others it sounds unbelievably callous. The most repeated sentences are, "What am I going to do?" and "I don't know what to do." A waste of time and a credit.

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  • Summer read
  • 07-29-20

Unusual, gripping, contemporary, thoughtful

I really enjoyed this mothers tale finding it fascinating throughout and thought about it when I wasn't listening, recounting
bits of the story to others and I wanted to know what happens in the end.
I found the lovely narrator was very easy to listen to, great job.