This story is well-crafted, so much so that I had difficulty sometimes remembering that it is a memoir, not fiction. Memoirs are often written in a confessional, journal-like style rather than story-like in structure. Fiction is usually better structured, formed into a narrative. The author has taken that care with this work: introducing characters and conflict, building suspense, and leaving cliffhangers. It is, for this reason, a compelling story and difficult to put down ... The book is critical of the state of mental health care in Canada, the author’s country ... This is a strong, well-written book that informs the reader on the topic of mental illness and its treatment.
This book is ideal for those interested in learning more about depression, anxiety, and suicide. It may also appeal to those who have always wondered what it might feel like to see the world through the tainted glass of depression. Family members and friends of those suffering, as well as therapists and other medical professionals, are also likely to benefit from this insightful and self-reflective account. Those still in the midst of dark days will want to wait and read this one later due to the descriptions of frequent suicidal ideation. Overall though, it’s definitely a worthy read and a positive contribution to the literature on mental illness.
Mark Henick vividly and emotionally recounts growing up in a small town off the coast of Nova Scotia ... This important memoir is unique in that it focuses as much attention on how he got better as it does on the drama of his depression and suicidality. Taking one’s one life is inherently dramatic, but most books gloss over what makes a real difference ... It is my hope that this memoir will be read by everyone who loves someone who is struggling so that they can better recognize what is often so difficult to put into words, and also by professionals who need to do a much better job of effectively helping their clients learn the necessary skills ... This much-needed memoir helps us all to recognize the stars and the blackness.