All posts tagged: mental-health

Claire Phillips talks about A ROOM WITH A DARKER VIEW, her mother’s struggle with paranoid schizophrenia, how sharing your darkest moment might bring light and hope to yourself–and others, more

By Leslie Lindsay  What if your mother were blisteringly intelligent and ambitious and yet…she devolved into a stew of paranoia, delusions, and more? ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Memoir Monday: Mental Health & Motherhood This unflinching, insightful, and troubled memoir A ROOM WITH A DARKER VIEW: Chronicles of My Mother and Schizophrenia by Claire Phillips is ambitiously and intelligently told. Claire’s mother, Joy is an Oxford-trained lawyer diagnosed in midlife with paranoid schizophrenia. Here, the author takes a feminist lens and tells her story, recollecting her childhood–and her mother’s–an elegant, non-linear manner, arriving at the dark, and inevitable conclusion. We get a striking glimpse of Claire’s mother from her younger days, the stress of being one of the only practicing female attorneys at time when it was primarily men, her father’s aspirations and career as a scientist, more. Phillips leads us through dark hallways where portraits of delusional thinking and paranoia hang, like a specter. But it’s more than that: A ROOM WITH A DARKER VIEW touches on the broken mental health system, adult children as a caregivers, mental health homelessness, shame, and the universal worry: …

Miriam Feldman talks about how reality is written in pencil, not pen, telling her story & inspiring others, not being embarrassed by her son’s schizophrenia, self-care & so much more in HE CAME WITH IT

By Leslie Lindsay A deeply profound and troubling story about one family’s struggle with their son’s devolve into a severe mental illness, and yet, it’s hopeful and unifying. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Miriam Feldman, artist, a mother, writer, a mental health advocate, and so much more invites the reader into her chaotic, heart-breaking, but hugely honest and authentic life raising a son with schizophrenia in HE CAME WITH IT (Turner Publishing, June 23 2020). I’m no stranger to mental illness. My mother died by suicide five years ago after a lifelong battle with schizoaffective disorder. I worked as a child/adolescent psychiatric R.N. and to say that I’ve seen it all would be inaccurate. Each individual and each family present differently. We’re individuals. We don’t always respond the same, even if the diagnosis–or the overall issue–is similar. That’s why so much more awareness, openness, and advocacy is needed. And that’s why we need more books like HE CAME WITH IT. The Feldman-O’Rourke’s live in an idyllic L.A. suburb where generations of families enjoy deep roots in old homes. Miriam and …

Maya Shanbhag Lang talks about her sublime memoir, WHAT WE CARRY, how it’s really about negotiating adulthood, but also about traditional family roles, estrangement, how her daughter is such a gift, plus living with compassion.

By Leslie Lindsay  If family shapes us, how can we break free from the myths and injustices? What if those stories were never true in the first place? ~MEMOIR MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH BOOK~ A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK PICK Featured on GOOD MORNING AMERICA Starred Review LIBRARY JOURNAL “What if we aren’t really mothers at all, but daughters, reaching back to be mothered?” This is a paraphrased section from Maya Lang’s exquisite memoir, WHAT WE CARRY (Dial Press, April 2020), which I absolutely loved. This story shimmers with precision and perception; it’s at once raw and graceful, a tender exploration of family and fraught mother-daughter relationships. Maya Shanbhag Lang grew up idolizing her ‘can do’ physician mother, who immigrated to the U.S. from India to complete her residency in psychiatry, while raising her children and keeping a traditional Indian home. Maya’s mother had always been caring and supportive, but then…something shifted, something Maya didn’t understand. Now, in Seattle, 3,000 miles from her mother, Maya is married and expecting her first baby. She’s alone in a new city and a husband who travels for work. And …

Heading to college this fall? Dr. Grimes is with you every step of the way in her no-nonsense, on-point ULTIMATE COLLEGE STUDENT’S HEALTH HANDBOOK: From Homesickness to Hangovers, plus what to pack, how to stay fit, more

By Leslie Lindsay Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, THE ULTIMATE COLLEGE STUDENT HEALTH HANDBOOK: Your Guide to Everything from Homesickness to Hangover by Dr. Jill Grimes is a must-have for the college Freshman.  ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS| ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Recognized by CNN~Health Baylor College of Medicine~CBS ~AAFP~ Doctors Radio NYU ~Glamour~ Reach MD~ Fox News ~ Health  College students facing their first illness, accident, or anxiety away from home often flip-flop between wanting to handle it themselves and wishing their parents could swoop in and fix everything. Advice from peers and “Dr. Google” can be questionable. THE ULTIMATE COLLEGE STUDENT HEALTH HANDBOOK: Everything from Homesickness to Hangovers by Jill Grimes, M.D., (Skyhorse, May 2020) provides accurate, trustworthy, evidence-based medical information (served with a dose of humor) to reduce anxiety and stress and help set appropriate expectations for more than 50 common issues. What if you can’t sleep well (or can’t sleep at all) in your dorm-room? What if a pill “gets stuck” in your throat? What if your roommate falls asleep (or passes out) wearing contacts, and …

Master storyteller Diane Chamberlain is back talking about her new novel, BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN, featuring strong women, art restoration, WPA, mental illness, and more. Plus, kitchen renovations and dog stories.

By Leslie Lindsay Diane Chamberlain skillfully weaves dual timelines in BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN, which carefully straddles the line between women’s fiction meets mystery and historical fiction. I’ve been a longtime fan of Diane Chamberlain, so no surprise I jumped at the chance to read her her newest title, BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN (St. Martin’s Press, January 14 2019). She always takes big issues and spins them into an immersive story with all the feels. BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN introduces two very strong, competent, and complicated young women across a dual timeline, 2018 and 1940, in small town Edenton, North Carolina. In 2018, we meet Morgan Christopher, a 22-year old woman who has gone to prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Her dream of an art career has been put on hold–until a mysterious visitor (and her attorney) approach her with a ‘get out of jail free card,’ that she would be a fool to pass up. Her assignment: to restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. …

The street lights have come on, it’s time to go inside…Carrianne Leung on her sublime novel-in-short-stories, plus what happens behind closed doors, suicide, mental illness, more

By Leslie Lindsay  Brilliant collection of intertwined/interconnected short stories about a suburban subdivision in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award  (Writers’ Union of Canada)  An Amazon Best Book of the Month  (Literature & Fiction) Such a striking and brilliant collection of short stories from Canadian author Carrianne Leung. I absolutely adored THAT TIME I LOVED YOU (Liveright Publishing, February 2019), and felt a bit melancholy when it was over; I wanted to stay with these characters longer.  ~ DECEMBER SHORT STORIES SERIES ~ When I finished this collection, sat the book down, I said, “Five glorious stars,” and I don’t do that often. These stories are about children losing innocence, adults burying their pain. They start off with a ‘rash’ of parent suicides, one right after the other, in this new development, where everything appears ‘perfect.’ The characters are flawed but endearing. Leung’s prose is absolutely glimmering and lucid. I couldn’t get enough. THAT TIME I LOVED YOU is a harrowing and stunning portrait of suburbia in that tender period of adolescence and new promise (the neighborhood is …

Debut author Lauren North talks about her early inklings for THE PERFECT SON (hint: isolation), how her background in psychology helps with writing, the house that inspired Tess’s and more

By Leslie Lindsay  Grief and despair wrapped under the guise of a psychological thriller fraught with emotions, disbelief, and empathy.  When Tess Clarke wakes in a hospital room she knows three things: 1) She’s been stabbed 2) Her husband is dead 3) Her son is missing. But the rest of it is buried under the fog of Tess’s mind.  THE PERFECT SON (Berkley August 13) starts with Tess in the hospital and sort of works backward in time, allowing readers to piece together their own theories. I am so impressed that this is a debut for author Lauren North. A bit about the plot: After Tess’s husband, Mark dies suddenly in a tragic accident, a few months earlier, the only thing keeping her together is their son, Jamie. And now he’s missing. To save him, Tess must piece together what happened between Mark’s death and Jamie’s disappearance. Plus, there are some ‘shady’ characters with ulterior motives Tess must grapple with. The structure of the story is what I found especially compelling. There’s a bit of a countdown to Tess’s …

Does lightening strike twice? Sometimes. Here, Nancy Freund Bills talks about this, healing after loss, complicated grief, and so much more in her award-winning memoir, THE RED RIBBON

By Leslie Lindsay  Clear, incisive memoir about death, grief, and the power to survive, THE RED RIBBON is a tender and tragic exploration of one woman’s experience.  Memoir has such power to shape and inform and this is why it’s one of my very favorite genres. THE RED RIBBON opens with author Nancy Freund Bills’s experience growing up in Montana–the rolling hills, the great expanse of sky, and yet, those out-of-the-blue tragic storms that swept in from the west. And then, many years later, in 1994, Nancy, now a New Englander, is notified that her son, Teddy, and recently-separated husband, Geoff, are caught in a freak thunderstorm. They have both been hit by lightning, one survives. This staggering news shocks and makes its way throughout several newspapers, affecting locals and family alike. But THE RED RIBBON isn’t just about this horrific accident. It’s about navigating the effects of grief. It’s about family and culture, customs, and the past. Nancy not only loses her husband, but also her father, later her mother, and mother-in-law. She goes through a series of …

Fear, isolation, and the shame of not being ‘good enough,’ plus what she did ‘right,’ in this deeply moving and authentic debut, by Melanie Golding steeped in fairy tales & new motherhood

By Leslie Lindsay Highly disturbing, emotionally challenging read about one woman’s descent into madness, motherhood, and more–gorgeously written and it’s a debut!  May is maternal mental health month LITTLE DARLINGS (Crooked Lane Books, April 30 2019) is one of those delightfully sinister psychological thrillers with a good dose of magical realism, fantasy, myth tossed in. It’s about pain, hope, loss, psychosis, motherhood, and uncertainty. And the writing is quite gorgeous. Come away, o human child to the waters and the wild.  –W.B. Yeats  Lauren Tranter is a new mother to twin boys. All is right–except she is exhausted, and rightly so. LITTLE DARLINGS starts off in the hospital, just after giving birth. Lauren can’t get comfortable. She isn’t sure she’s nursing the babies properly, her husband, Patrick must leave to go home…and is she ever able to get any rest?! There’s a distinct feeling of unease, right off the bat. Lauren can’t seem to shake the notion that someone came into the hospital and switched out her babies. Someone–something–sinister. With an odor of fish and mud. But everyone says it’s impossible. It’s a very secure …

Inspired by the evils that lurk on social media, Heather Gudenkauf talks about her newest book, BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND, tween aggression, mental health, and more

By Leslie Lindsay  Gripping small town thriller about three young girls, a horrific accident, social media and social aggression in Heather Gudenkauf’s newest, BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND.  I’ve been a fan of Heather Gudenkauf’s work since THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE (2008), and always, always look forward to her new releases. I love that she continually writes about Iowa, a gentle reminder that the Midwest has so much to offer–and so much can happen in these small, seemingly ‘boring’ towns–the communities are close-knit and geographically gorgeous with craggy cliffs overlooking river bends, winter wheat fields, and steel-gray sky. Maybe because I’m a Midwesterner at heart, too. BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND (Park Row/HarperCollins, April 16 2019) features three girls, all aged 12.  Violet: She’s new to town, having recently relocated to Pitch, Iowa from Arizona with her single mother and other brother, Max. She’s eager to fit in and make friends. Jordyn: The ‘bad egg.’ Jordyn lives with her grandparents, Thomas and Tess because her parents abandoned her when she was young. Thomas and Tess own a local bar and are doing the best they can …