The Light in His Soul: Lessons from My Brother's Schizophrenia
Adult; Memoir; (Publish)
Call Richmond, Jr. went missing. Twenty years later he showed up on a family member's doorstep. He was homeless, broken, and suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. For the next 14 years, his sister Rebecca took on the struggle to restore him as they faced the dark traumas and painful memories of their past.
"The Light in His Soul: Lessons from My Brother's Schizophrenia" is Rebecca Schaper's intimate memoir of how, through helping Call, she learns that his extraordinary gifts can heal her and her family. The book recaps the story of the award-winning documentary film "A Sister's Call" (2012), supplemented by Rebecca's insights about the soul contract she has with her brother. "A Sister's Call" won 15 prestigious awards, including the Arizona International Film Festival, DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival, Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, San Diego Film Festival and Tupelo Film Festival. It is being re-released April 28, 2018 on DVD.
Rebecca Schaper has written a gripping new memoir in which she shares a stunningly candid chronicle of rescuing her lost brother from homelessness and mental illness, and her long, emotional fight to again make him a part of her family.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.50 out of 10
Plot: Schaper’s quickly-paced memoir details the author's struggle over the course of nearly two decades to help her brother recover from a life ravaged by mental illness. Schaper explores traumatic events with both an eye for detail and sensitive emotional awareness, detailing how many of these experiences were life-altering for her and her family.
Prose: Schaper’s prose is both poetic and beautiful as she discusses the spiritual and emotional bond she shares with her family members, specifically, her brother Call. She describes Call’s mental illness and his battle with it, as well as mental illness in general, in a professional, informative, and empathetic tone.
Originality: Schaper’s story is riveting and heart-wrenching—she acknowledges how mental illness is perceived in the public eye and how family members often perceive relatives struggling with mental illness. Through this text, she stresses that even a family's darkest times can contain some light, and even the most seemingly irredeemable or “unfixable” people can be helped, at times, with love and care.
Character Development: Schaper’s memoir skillfully reveals the emotional growth of her family members as they grapple with each new crisis over the years. Schaper includes necessary details about peripheral, yet very important figures in Call’s life.
Date Submitted: July 20, 2018