Siddoway writes that “many silent tears were shared” during the years covered by this heartbreaking chronicle, and her eloquent account bears witness to their excruciating pain endured by this family. Readers will be riveted by Sonja’s gradual descent to rock bottom–a vivacious young mother who transforms into a virtual stranger–and memories of nights passed sobbing on the kitchen floor and her hosing down the inside of a car at a car wash while en route to church. Mitch’s fight to keep her safe is equally moving, from tending to her basic needs during bouts of depression to treating wounds from her self-harming. The turning point comes when Sonja’s argument with 16-year-old Lincoln devolves into an active suicide attempt and forced hospitalization.
Despite such a painful topic, Siddoway effectively draws readers in with rare fluency and power, highlighting both the unequivocal love between her parents and their exhaustive crusade to take back their lives. Sonja’s momentous discovery of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy alters their course, delivering a happy ending to an otherwise painfully melancholic tale, and Siddoway skillfully weaves in mental health advocacy without resorting to clinical overwhelm. This gut-wrenching examination of one family’s tenacity in the face of debilitating mental illness is a lighthouse of hope.
Takeaway: A heartrending chronicle of unswerving love, family, and victory over incapacitating mental illness.
Great for fans of: Paolina Milana’s Committed, David Crow’s The Pale-Faced Lie, Stephen Hinshaw’s Another Kind of Madness.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A+