Review: Madness a Memoir by Kate Richards

Madness: A Memoir by Kate RichardsMadness is a real world for the many thousands of people who are right now living within it. It never apologises. Sometimes it is a shadow, ever present, without regard for the sun. Sometimes it is a well of dark water with no bottom, or a levitation device to the stars.

Madness, a memoir is an insight into what it’s like to live with psychosis over a period of ten years, in which bouts of acute illness are interspersed with periods of sanity. The world is beautiful and terrifying and sometimes magical. The sanctity of life is at times precious and at times precarious and always fragile. It’s a story of learning to manage illness with courage and creativity, of achieving balance and living well. It is for everyone now living within the world of madness, for everyone touched by this world, and for everyone seeking to further his or her understanding of it, whether you think of madness as a biological illness of the brain or an understandable part of the continuum of the human condition.

___

Continue reading

Blog Tour Review: Shadows in the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad

Shadows in the Sun by Gayathri RamprasadAmericans have become immune to the terms, drugs, and behaviors associated with depression even as its reputation has grown as a debilitating and sometimes fatal mental illness. But in India and elsewhere the stigma associated with this condition is cultural and runs deep. In a sweeping narrative that spans the globe from Bangalore to Portland, Oregon, Gayathri Ramprasad shares her harrowing journey through depression to recovery in SHADOWS IN THE SUN: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within.
Gayathri Ramprasad was a blossoming, young Indian girl being raised by a loving family steeped in tradition. But as she grew into an adolescent, she found it more and more difficult to cope with the routine ups and downs of life. The “tipping point” came after Ramprasad failed a class at college and became inconsolable. Unlike a reasonably healthy person, who might be upset at first but come to a place of acceptance and a rational state of mind, Gayathri could not stop herself from obsessing over her failure and what this would mean to her future and her family.
Gayathri’s arranged marriage, moving to America, and the birth of her first child all led to suicidal ideation and attempts, along with varying degrees of fear and chaos for her growing family. At her lowest point, she was found digging a grave for herself in her backyard with her bare hands, mumbling unintelligibly, with her young daughter sitting in the house alone. Over time, she learned how to respect her illness without letting it dominate her existence. She also realized she wasn’t alone. Having grown up in a family and culture that initially thought her illness was a curse, was surprised to learn that her father, brother, and sister all struggled with mental illness. Today Gayathri Ramprasad is president of ASHA International, a nonprofit organization she founded, whose mission is her calling—to promote personal, organizational, and community wellness around the world. SHADOWS IN THE SUN illustrates how troubled a person can become and how wonderful it is when she can walk out of the darkness and into the light of recovery.

TLC Book Tours___

This review is part of Gayathri Ramprasad’s book tour with TLC Book Tours. Find out more about the tour and all the stops here.

For more information about upcoming tours and events please visit TLC Book Tours.

___ Continue reading

Review: Arabelle’s Shadows by Fleur Gaskin

Arabelle's Shadows by Fleur GaskinEverything in Arabelle’s life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she’s even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn’t as wonderful as he first appears.

Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle’s mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle’s refusing to remember and, if she’s not careful, they’ll use it to destroy her.

Based on a true story, Arabelle’s Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression.

____

Continue reading

Review: Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

Unberable Lightness by Portia de Rossi“I didn’t decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . .”

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn’t enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women’s health issues.

In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies, Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

___

Continue reading

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyShy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is attempting to navigate through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends.

The world of sex, drugs, and music – when all one requires to feel infinite is that perfect song on that perfect drive. Standing on the fringes of life Charlie has a unique perspective of the world around him, but there comes a time to stop being a wallflower and see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion has become a modern classic. Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating and through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

___

Continue reading