Extraordinary Happenings on the Edge of Lunacy
by Mr. Frankie Princeton

"She is the sweetest and dearest lady I have ever known, and had you really gotten to know her…you would come to love her the way I did and still do."

At just four years old, Amanda suffers traumatic childhood experiences with the death of her brother and then the murder/suicide of her father, mother, and grandmother. This singular incident is perhaps what forever fractures Amanda’s mental stability and shapes the remainder of her life. In adulthood, Amanda’s depression and mania disrupts the normality of her family life, severely restricting her ability to function in society. Princeton describes harrowing moments of near-death events caused by his mother’s unpredictable behavior. Her various mild to dangerous and uncontrollable actions emerge and cease without reason or warning over the course of many years. Despite treatments and hospitalizations, Amanda gradually unravels as she ages, her relapses deeply affecting her husband and children as helpless witnesses at the time and continuing to impact them even after her death.

In this memoir, Princeton reevaluates his own life and that of his mother’s while touching on important themes of familial relationships, the state of health care, and the oftentimes overlooked and misunderstood topic of mental health. He scrutinizes and deconstructs the series of episodes occurring throughout his childhood and well into adulthood, attempting to understand and reconcile what his mother did and how she suffered from this painful mental disorder. It is at times sad, confounding, and disturbing to read one man’s personal struggles living and coping with a mentally unstable family member. This book is in no way a condemnation of his mother but rather a celebration of a woman and a close friend who unfortunately was diminished by a crippling medical condition. His story is cathartic, healing, and may be a terrific means of support for others addressing a similar situation.

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