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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Under My Bed and Other Essays: American Lives by Jody Keisner is an unflinching memoir where she delves into the role played by fear throughout some of the most significant moments of her life and that of her loved ones. Adopted by the Keisners as a one-month-old baby, Jody was raised in various rural towns of Nebraska. Her first tryst with fearful memories stems from the old TV series V -- a favorite of her father's -- which impacted her tender mind with a primal sense of fear she struggled to shrug off. With a temperamental father and a passive mom, Jody soon learned to fend on her own but continued to harbor anxiety about anything out of the ordinary. After getting married and having daughters herself, Jody's sources of fear take a different turn as she learns about its psychological and physical aspects.
Under My Bed and Other Essays is about navigating the demons of one's mind as well as those thrust upon us by our loved ones, society, and circumstances. Thought-provoking and relevant, Jody Keisner's memoir is a timely reminder of the chaos and disarray that threaten to overwhelm us as we grow older, which almost always has its roots planted in our childhood. Keisner provides an unfiltered and thorough glimpse into her life, showcasing fear through a wide array of cultural, psychological, and societal lenses that leaves you with a lot to contemplate even after you've finished reading the book. I found this a very illuminating read and highly recommend it.