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An Impossible Life: The Inspiring Journey of a Woman’s Struggle from Within
Rachael Siddoway and Sonja Wasden. The Gap Press, $18.89 e-book (300p) ISBN 978-1-7336194-1-7
In this raw debut, Siddoway collaborates with her mother, Sonja, to shine a light on Sonja’s mental illness and the determination of the human spirit in the face of painful and daunting challenges. The story opens as Sonja, a suburban mother of three, is admitted to a psychiatric hospital by her husband and father. Jumping back and forth in time between Sonja’s stay in the hospital and her earlier life, the narrative follows Sonja as she comes to terms with mental illness and finds ways to continue living and coping after her diagnosis. Sonja describes her experiences with self-harm, illnesses (an eating disorder and bipolar disorder), and suicidal thoughts, and explores her struggles to reconcile the chaos of her internal world with the expectations of the external world. Sonja’s account deals with many difficult issues, such as the impact of her illness on her family and how mental health-care professionals can sometimes be unhelpful and even a danger to those in their care. Sonja’s despairing yet hopeful story unveils the inner turmoil of mental illness and recovery. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 05/22/2020

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