Imagine going to the grocery store, splitting up with your husband to get the job done faster. Then a man you don't recognize approaches you, touches you, acting as though he's your husband. You're frightened. You're overwhelmed. Then you realize, he is your husband - you just can't recognize his face. For Heather Sellers this is life. With prosopagnosia, a rare neurological disorder you don't have the ability to remember or recognize faces, even of those you love.
Before reading Heather's touching, heart-breaking, and fascinating story, I had never heard of 'face blindness'. I read the story of her tumultuous childhood, one in which she didn't have a name for this strange inability to store faces within her memory and both her parents suffered severely with mental illness, untreated. You hurt for her as you read that she felt like the crazy one and was often times the adult, even at a young age. Children should be allowed to be just that, kids. For Heather her childhood was chaotic and confusing.
The truth is her stories is heart-breaking. A broken home. A troubled childhood. So few answers. But Sellers pain-staking honesty is what makes 'You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know' a worthwhile read. Raw honesty, unmerited hope, and a strong belief in the power of love hold true throughout the text.
You'll grow to love Heather as you see her find the truth about herself as well as her parents. It will warm your heart as you see her find love with a new family of her own. You'll rejoice with her as new perspective frees her and she rises above her circumstances. Hardship remains a theme to the end, but Seller's ability to persevere will inspire you.
A window into the lives of households riddled with mental illness fascinated me, even as it hurt my heart for Heather. Similar to 'The Glass Castle' it was a poignant memoir of a broken childhood and the struggle to piece life together afterwards. You won't be able to put it down.
Note: This book was given for review by Riverhead Books.