Thursday, April 19, 2012

January First: A Child's Descent Into Madness And Her Father's Struggle To Save Her by Michael Schofield

A brilliant and honest memoir, January First is the extraordinary story of a father’s fight to save his child from an extremely severe case of mental illness in the face of overwhelming adversity.

This is a harrowing look at two parents’ struggles with their daughter’s schizophrenia. It is a heartbreaking story that deserves to be read.

This book is captivating not only because of its content, which in and of itself is rare enough, since we don’t usually hear about young children suffering from this disease, but also because of its honesty. Things, good, bad, and awful, are shown in these pages with as much clarity as anyone could hope for. It is horrifying to read about Jani’s illness and its violence, and the author, her father, does a fantastic job of getting out of the way and just telling what happened without trying to sugarcoat anything.

The writing itself is fine, not the best, but in a book such as this, that can be bypassed. Mr. Schofield also shows us a side of the medical world, and in particular the mental health world, that many of us are not privy to. The lack of care, the lack of sympathy, in some of the doctors and nurses that came into Jani’s life is astounding.

I easily recommend this book. It’s not an easy read, but it is an enlightening one that I think will open a lot of eyes to some of the struggles parents of mentally ill children battle.

1 comment:

Uomo di Speranza said...

Reading books about mental health is so interesting, but like you said, so very disturbing. I think it scares us because anybody can really have it-this illness doesn't have to be connected to a bad gene or treating oneself unhealthily.