My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was another winner that I got for free from NetGalley.com.
Picking up this book was therapy. I felt I could relate with the main character, Abby, who seems beset with depression and anxiety. These are disabilities that pulled me from the workforce and 14 years ago. I’ve been through the medication, and therapy routes. I finally gave up. For the same reasons that Abby did. But watching her try to find answers gave me hope that if I try I might find my own answers.
Mental illness is a tough thing to deal with. To be raised by someone with it and knowing how you have to walk around it, how your childhood is merely survival, how that is the one thing you have in common with the family members and the life with those issues is ALWAYS there. When you wonder if this is the last day for you to live or would your mother actually blow up the house with everyone in it this day. When you are raised like that, it is easy to understand Abby’s daughter, Juliana, and what she is growing up around.
And the husband comes off like a saint. This particular husband, Coach Ryan found and adjusted to this life with a life that was fulfilling. Not often the outcome for spouses of the mentally ill. I don’t think my father ever found a life until my mother was gone. He had work and TV and sleep.
So I know what I am talking about when I say that this book was well done, literally, and psychologically. Either the author was raised with or has lived with mental illness or she did some fantastic research. Her story did not come across as judgemental or preachy. She made the characters very human. I loved the way she told the story through this family’s individual points of view and once established as a part of the history, Abby’s best friend, Lauren’s viewpoint.
While the drama centers around the family and friend of Abby, maybe the character that is most seen and given understanding is depression and its friend, anxiety. Abby’s counselors come across as human and yet wise, asking the right questions and words to cling to as you find yourself sinking. Oops, for Abby, when she would find herself going astray of her healthy choices.
As you can tell, I took a lot of this wisdom to heart. I plan to reread this later, maybe pick up the Audible version as I read a review that praised it highly. I think I need to practice some of the ways Abby learns to deal with her issues. I have to admit that I stuff things down like she did. Most people wouldn’t know I was depressed or anxious as I can hide it from myself and everyone else. But these issues have ways to come to life on their own. I think that is where my Fibromyalgia comes from, stuffing it all down deep into my bones. Now I need to look at what is needing my attention and I will need help dealing with what comes up.
Thank you, Rochelle B. Weinstein, for writing such an insightful book and sharing it with the world.