In the 1950's and 60's families are expected to deal with death privately and silently. This is no different for the Bernards, a lively Catholic family that tries to rebuild after the loss of their three oldest children. Yet the deaths haunt the author's emotional development into adulthood with a subtle force she can only uncover in psychoanalysis while mothering her own young children. Ollie Ollie In Come Free is an immersion in the secrets of a young girl's inner life and unexpressed grief. Brimming with memories of Midwestern childhood during an era of social upheaval, it offers moving insights into Anne Bernard Becker's personal healing journey as well as universal themes of loss and growth.
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In the 50s and 60s three older siblings of Anne Becker Bernard die and the large Catholic family does their best to live a normal life. Anne's siblings and parents take different roles to survive. Anne struggles with her understandable terror of imminent illness and death, feeling that only if she is perfect God would protect her. I admire the strength of Anne and her family to go on. However, she tells of the consequences of being strong and not grieving. This was a very honest and touching memoir that I had to keep listening to and was sorry to see it end.