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72 Hour Hold

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Bebe Moore Campbell’s fifth novel, 72 Hour Hold, imagines the well-heeled yet deeply troubled life of Keri, an L.A. boutique owner and divorced single mother who’s struggling to get her 18-year-old, Ivy League-bound daughter, Trina, treated for bipolar disorder. Exhausted by Trina’s paranoid and violent episodes, and frustrated by the bureaucracy of the medical establishment, Keri enlists the services of an illegal psychiatric program founded by a team of vigilantes who fancy themselves the reincarnation of Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad. Meantime, Keri is forced to confront her own demons — chiefly, painful memories of growing up with an alcoholic mother, lingering grief over the death of her young son, and unresolved feelings for her ex-husband. Thankfully, Campbell keeps the cumbersome Underground Railroad metaphors to a minimum, producing a captivating examination of mental health in the African-American community.

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