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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:250
  • eBook ISBN:9798350910315
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350910308

Hitchhiking to Madness

A Memoir

by Carol Hamilton

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"Hitchhiking to Madness" is a gripping memoir that tracks Dr. Hamilton's 1970s journey from church excommunication to hitchhiking across America, witnessing her husband's descent into madness, and eventually transforming into a celebrated physician.

In Hitchhiking to Madness: A Memoir, Dr. Carol Hamilton takes readers on a soul-stirring journey through the 1970s—a time marked by hippies, Jesus freaks, and the awakening of social consciousness. After being excommunicated from her church for advocating a more accepting form of Christianity, Hamilton dropped out of college and embarked on an odyssey across America with her young husband. Through humor and horror, she explores life on the road, the terrifying descent of her husband into madness, the sexual assault she endures, and his attempt to murder her and their unborn child. Amid the crisis, Hamilton decides to trust in herself, drawing strength from the support of friends and family, and eventually severing the marital bond. She navigates through a sea of post-trauma emotions and outlines her journey to becoming a physician at a time when female doctors were a rarity. Hamilton ends her memoir with thoughtful insights on mental illness and encourages readers to find courage in their unplanned detours—it's never too late to redirect one's path.

About the author

Hitchhiking to Madness: A Memoir is Dr. Carol “Susie” Hamilton’s first work of creative non-fiction. She is an Internal Medicine physician and Infectious Diseases specialist by training, and her career has featured over one hundred peer-reviewed scientific publications and numerous awards including the D. A. Henderson Award for a lifetime of achievement in global public health from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Her 35 years at Duke University included patient care, research and teaching. She spent the last 10 years of her career with FHI360, nurturing research skills among physician scientists in Africa and Asia and helping improve care for people with TB and AIDS. She is now an emeritus professor at Duke and works with younger doctors training in infectious diseases.

She considers herself a lifelong learner and enjoys delving into new topics like Astrophysics and the history of Soul music! She also loves teaching, including with Duke’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She is a gardener, conservationist, and birder, now serving as the President of the New Hope Audubon Society. She also enjoys more creative hobbies including oil painting and sewing. She and her husband have four children and three grandchildren and enjoy living in North Carolina.

Book Reviews

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Amazing Story What do you do when your intelligent and devoted husband, seemingly overnight, turns into a man you do not recognize? What if God doesn’t have the answer? When do you put yourself before others? These are the questions at the heart of Hamilton’s memoir, and the reason I could not put it down. Hamilton’s beautifully written memoir is about love, loss, and hope. Through Hamilton’s masterful storytelling, the reader is drawn into the mind of a young girl’s sincere quest for spiritual truth, the end of a wonderful marriage, and the heartbreaking reality of mental illness. With wit, suspense, and excruciating candor, Hamilton weaves a tale that is at once exciting and horrifying. Like many young people in the 70’s, Hamilton and her husband took to the road seeking the perfect spiritual home. But unlike many who found their Utopia, Hamilton’s quest turned into a nightmare no one saw coming. This story is about how Hamilton worked her way through heartbreak, disillusionment, and confusion to become the powerful woman she is today. This book is a heartwarming and inspiring journey of a brave young woman. I highly recommend it. Read more