Ignorance is Bliss is a touching and sweet little book that is virtually a classic psychological case study about a mother and her transgender child. It is, first and foremost, a novel about a young teen who not only has to deal with her own transition to a female gender role, but the burgeoning realization that her mother is suffering from mental illness in the form of a Dissociative Disorder, a condition that involves a breakdown of memory, awareness, identity and perception.
How this little girl deals with her own struggle in the face of her mother’s issues is nothing short of magnificent. This tale demonstrates the virtues of honesty and ethical practice, and features the support of caring professionals, friends, and loved ones. It provides an interesting juxtaposition of the protagonist’s struggle to come to terms with her own true identity, while her mother is presented as a person who we can only theorize is a survivor of some buried trauma or deeply rooted horror that will never permit her to come close to knowing who she really is.
Sad to think that while the daughter jubilantly launches on a path to achieve her quest, the mother never will.
[Reviewed by Samuel]