Beautifully Crafted Look At Mental Illness Over Two Generations
What a breathtakingly beautiful, sad, and poignant story! It is one of the best books that I’ve read this month, and I read a lot! I was immediately immersed in the book’s world, which is rare for me. I am a copyeditor, and mistakes tend to pull me out of a book quickly. But this did not happen here; there was nothing between me and this very well-written book.
I am a bedside nurse, so I found the medical aspects of the beginning to be very interesting. I am an RN in the US, so I found the glimpse of Australian medicine intriguing. The author states in a note before the book proper starts that he isn’t always accurate about the medicine and the hospital setting. But actually, I’ve read books that have jarred me with their inaccuracies; this book did not. In fact, parts of it were very realistic even if not wholly true. The author has created intelligent, distinct, complex, and very human main characters. This book deals with difficult topics like suicide and mental disorders–and quite graphically so. If either of those issues is a trigger for you, then you should avoid this book. I have to say, though, that these issues are handled beautifully, with grace and with respect for our frailty as human beings.
As I said, I found this book to be an exceptional read. If you don’t think that the difficult issues would be traumatic for you and you enjoy literary fiction, this book might be right up your alley.