Changing My Mind

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Changing My Mind

by Margaret Trudeau

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd | October 12, 2010 | Hardcover

4.7692 out of 5 rating. 13 Reviews
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In this deeply moving memoir, Margaret Trudeau speaks with candour and insight about the illness that silently shaped her life -- a life lived often in turbulence and in the public''s fascination. Plagued since childhood by extreme moods, Margaret was ill-prepared for the high-profile role into which she was cast at age twenty-two, as Canada''s youngest first lady. Captivated by her high spirits, youth and beauty, Canadians fell in love with Margaret, just as they had with her charismatic husband, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, three years earlier. When their first son, Justin, was born on Christmas Day and their second son, Sacha, on the same day two years later, this couple seemed almost enchanted.

But away from the cameras and the public appearances, and increasingly isolated at 24 Sussex Drive, Margaret struggled with a growing depression offset by bouts of mania. Her behaviour seemed inexplicable to many -- including to herself -- and two years after the birth of their third son, Michel, the marriage broke down. Gradually, though, a fragile stability took hold, as Margaret found happiness in work as a photographer and in her marriage to Fried Kemper. But the tragic death of Michel Trudeau, closely followed by Pierre Trudeau''s own passing, caused her to spiral into suicidal depression. Finally accepting the diagnosis of bipolar, she sought medical treatment.

Under intense international scrutiny, Margaret Trudeau has survived remarkable highs and devastating lows. Since regaining control of her life, she has brought her formidable passion to helping others, be they Canadians suffering from mental illness or families living without access to water half a world away. A recipient of the Society of Biological Psychiatry Humanitarian Award, she now offers her journey of recovery, acceptance and hope, and generously shares with us many previously unreleased photos, in one of the most important memoirs to come out of this country

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 3.69 × 2.51 × 0.55 in

Published: October 12, 2010

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554685389

ISBN - 13: 9781554685387

If anyone in your family has ever been affected by depression or bipolarity… If you grew up in the days when Pierre Elliott Trudeau dazzled a country and a young hippie named Margaret Sinclair… Or, if you get inspired reading about someone who has faced almost insurmountable life challenges only to triumph in the end, you will richly enjoy reading Margaret Trudeau’s biography, Changing My Mind. Born in 1948, into a politically engaged, energetic, middle-income family, Margaret’s early years were pretty typical. Other than her early signs of having an independent spirit and being somewhat susceptible to moodiness, there was little to suggest the layered life that lay ahead. But anything and everything typical ended when, at 20, Margaret Trudeau was swept off her feet by the most eligible bachelor in Canada, The Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau. From that moment forward, Margaret’s life could hardly have been imagined by even the most inventive of fiction writers. In this very warm, personal and honest memoir, written with the kind of wisdom that can only be gained through a long life, Margaret shares with us how she experienced living at 24 Sussex Drive with the enigmatic Trudeau. We witness the isolation she experienced when out of the spotlight, the incredible post-partum depression that followed the euphoria of giving birth, and the challenges of living with a man who, though loving, was also intensely paternalistic, often dismissive and financially ungenerous. The story tracks the break-up of their marriage and the roller coaster of Margaret’s life with and without her children, post her marriage to Trudeau. At its heart, this is a story of someone who lived with the ravages of undiagnosed bipolar disorder, suffered incredible indignities, fractured many relationships, but was eventually lucky enough to find herself in the hands of a physician who could truly help her make sense of her illness and herself. With the benefit of perspective, having invested hugely in getting control of her life, and having survived the trauma of losing her beloved son Michel, Margaret emerges as a passionate and dedicated mother, grandmother and humanitarian. This story will affirm your belief in the resilience of the human spirit.

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– More About This Product –

Changing My Mind

by Margaret Trudeau

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 3.69 × 2.51 × 0.55 in

Published: October 12, 2010

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554685389

ISBN - 13: 9781554685387

From the Publisher

In this deeply moving memoir, Margaret Trudeau speaks with candour and insight about the illness that silently shaped her life -- a life lived often in turbulence and in the public''s fascination. Plagued since childhood by extreme moods, Margaret was ill-prepared for the high-profile role into which she was cast at age twenty-two, as Canada''s youngest first lady. Captivated by her high spirits, youth and beauty, Canadians fell in love with Margaret, just as they had with her charismatic husband, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, three years earlier. When their first son, Justin, was born on Christmas Day and their second son, Sacha, on the same day two years later, this couple seemed almost enchanted.

But away from the cameras and the public appearances, and increasingly isolated at 24 Sussex Drive, Margaret struggled with a growing depression offset by bouts of mania. Her behaviour seemed inexplicable to many -- including to herself -- and two years after the birth of their third son, Michel, the marriage broke down. Gradually, though, a fragile stability took hold, as Margaret found happiness in work as a photographer and in her marriage to Fried Kemper. But the tragic death of Michel Trudeau, closely followed by Pierre Trudeau''s own passing, caused her to spiral into suicidal depression. Finally accepting the diagnosis of bipolar, she sought medical treatment.

Under intense international scrutiny, Margaret Trudeau has survived remarkable highs and devastating lows. Since regaining control of her life, she has brought her formidable passion to helping others, be they Canadians suffering from mental illness or families living without access to water half a world away. A recipient of the Society of Biological Psychiatry Humanitarian Award, she now offers her journey of recovery, acceptance and hope, and generously shares with us many previously unreleased photos, in one of the most important memoirs to come out of this country

About the Author

MARGARET TRUDEAU was born in Vancouver, Canada, where she attended Simon Fraser University. The former wife of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, she is also the author of two previous memoirs, Beyond Reason (1979) and Consequences (1982). Margaret now works with WaterCan, a registered charity dedicated to providing clean drinking water to the world's poorest people, and speaks across the country on mental health issues. She lives in Montreal.

Editorial Reviews

"A powerful, important and profoundly sad book"
- Montreal Gazette ()
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