When Stewart Young becomes mentally ill with a variety of disorders, his mind betraying and lying to him, he fights his demons in an attempt to save his own life. His wife, Monique, has her own demons, but she is determined to keep him safe. When his infatuation with other women brings the marriage to a screeching halt, she continues to take care of him, and their friendship remains strong, despite the isolation, rapid mood swings, hallucinations, and the occasional psychotic episode. Through a combination of diary entries, emails, and narrative, we see the progression of his illness, and the recovery that appears so close, yet is so far away. More than a tale of mental illness and the havoc it wreaks on those who have it and those who love them, it’s a story of friendship, and what we’re willing to do for those we love.
My Review: * * * * *
I found this book truly fascinating, perhaps because I am so interested in the way the mind works, as well as in relationships between people. In other words, humankind.
This story offers a remarkable glimpse into the, often unfamiliar, world of mental illness described in great detail from two very different perspectives. One is the narrator, wife, friend and caregiver, Monique, and the other is her mentally ill husband, Stewart. When Monique married Stewart, he showed no signs of being mentally ill. After he became ill with a series of disorders and they separated, their relationship continued on as a deep and loving friendship, as Monique moved from wife to caregiver. Though she had many of her own struggles, she became a rock of support and constant carer to her best friend. The interspersed emails and stories from Stewart provide an interesting insight into the thoughts and feelings of a mentally ill, yet intelligent and coherent individual. I understood exactly why Monique loved Stewart so much. He was a special guy.
Some sensitive readers may struggle with the many times that Stewart cuts his arms in an effort to ground himself. Though this is an integral part of the story and trying to understand certain aspects of mental illness.
Well written book with an unexpected ending.
If you'd like to read this blog as a story, click here to go to the first blog post and continue reading in chronological order.
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What readers are saying…
"I just finished your book and loved it. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It was beautifully written and was difficult for me to put down!" ~ Kimmie
"Your book was beautiful! My heart ached with you all the way! I cried so much that my head hearts! Lol. Thank you for sharing your journey....you are a beautiful soul. Love to you and your girls." ~ Jannette
"Your book struck a personal cord with me. Thank you for making me see I am not the only one. Best wishes to you and your girls." ~ Tabitha
"Brilliant writing. Heart rending subject. Emotions expressed superbly. Too sad! Loved your descriptions; 'rain falling like sheets of glass...', 'syllables dropping at my feet.....' and many, many more. Five stars!" ~ June
“I didn't want your book to come to an end; yet, I did, as I knew it would be a new beginning for you. Your words, no matter what pain may lie behind them, are so beautifully strung together. I can't thank you enough for pushing yourself to write your story, very REMARKABLE story, for so many to love and learn from.” ~ Allison
“Your book has every emotion possible. The love you have for Stuart is unconditional and not found often. I admire your strength as a women wife and mother. God bless you and your girls each day. Thanks for sharing your story!” ~ Bridgette
“Just read your book, couldn't put it down. God bless you and your girls and for loving Stuart the way you did. I truly believe he is at peace. My best wishes to you all... you have touched a piece of my heart xx” ~ Lydia
"Have just finished your very moving and beautifully written memoir. I wish you and your daughters much happiness for the future. Thanks to you your girls will have good memories of their beloved father together with an understanding of his battle with depression." ~ Nicola
"You are a very brave and compassionate woman and I'm so glad you told your story. It has also helped me on my healing journey and it will help so many others too. Thank you so much for sharing and for your beautiful writing. I will be recommending it to many people and hope to read more of your writing in the future." ~ Kae
"AMAZING BOOK! I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN! Thank you for sharing your deepest self and your incredible journey. You are a true inspiration. I will tell everybody I know what a MUST read this book. You are a gifted writer, and I look forward to your next book." ~ Maryanne
"I just finished your incredible book! THANK YOU FOR sharing your pain. The story is incredible a true example of unconditional love." ~ Myra
"I took a whim and downloaded your book on my kindle. I had no idea what it was about or who you were. And let me tell you, i am so glad that i did. this was one of the most moving, loving, heartbreaking and amazing books i have ever read. I couldn't stop reading it and refused to do so until it was finished. What a moving story, and thank you for sharing it." ~ Beth