I also posted this on my University blog and due to the fact this book means so much to me, I decided to post it on here.
If you’re looking for a book that captivates you and holds your attention for its entirety, then look no further because this is a magnificent aspect of this book. From the very first page I was hooked. I hung of every single word of the fragmented narrative, eager for information on the taboo subject that is mental illness. The story follows the main protagonist Matthew Homes who struggles to accept the death of his younger brother, while blaming himself, he encounters his brother Simon throughout a series of hallucinations.
Alongside the hallucinations Matthew also tells his painfully raw narrative through flashbacks and dreams which all add up to his fragmented and nonlinear narrative. I really enjoy this type of narrative because not only was it enigmatic but I thought it also respectfully showed a realistic glimpse into the life of someone suffering with schizophrenia. I really liked the way this book was pushing the boundaries of society and representing a truthful aspect of culture and how people react to mental illness.
I also really enjoyed the fact that not only did it show the suffering of Matthew but it also showed how his mental illness morphed into his life and changed the way his friends and family saw him and acted towards him. It revealed the heart- breaking impact that it had on his family, placed next to the crippling grief over Simon’s death the narrative showed the hollowness of loss. Each character is carefully crafted by Nathan Filer to leave a long lasting feeling of despair on the reader; his mother fuses over Matthew while falling apart herself, his father is devastated while trying to be strong and his grandmother ‘Nanny Noo’ seems to be the only person who understands Matthew. This book was an insightful read that made me reflect on the anguish of others and although this book made me cry, it also made me laugh out loud at the happier memories.
The complexities and flaws of the protagonist made him easy to relate and connect with, making me as a reader included in his grief and hoping that he would get better. Even though he is an unreliable narrator, it did put me off as a reader it only encouraged me to try and figure him out.
I would definitely recommend this book.
- Characterization – 5 out of 5
- Entertaining Rating- 4 out of 5
- Writing style- 3 out of 5
- Overall rating- 4 out of 5
I also found out after I finished this wonderful book that the author studied at my University, doing mental health nursing which I thought was inspiring and amazing. It also made the story more emotive because of the reality of the health care and the honest portrayal.
If you would like this buy this book, you can find it on amazon – HERE .