A reckoning with madness in the true sense of the word. This book provides a very personal account of Stafford and her daughter’s experience of mental health issues as the duo traverse uncharted territory together, trying to understand their trauma and proactively working to heal themselves, continually seeking alternative treatment methods and systems. of support as they constantly struggle with some of the most debilitating physical conditions. It recounts the many trials they faced and exposes us to the tumultuous world of voice hearing. In that sense, it is both inspiring and informative, encouraging readers to visualize the amount of emotional stress that Annie or anyone who hears voices has to endure on a daily basis.
To say that the narrative follows a chronological order or has a linear timeline would be a limitation, because this book is anything but a series of featured events one after another. In fact, it is sometimes similar to a research paper in the way that it references the literature on and around the topic of mental illness, hearing voices, or suicidal ideation, etc. Other times it flows with the wistful drift and confessional tone of an autobiography or memoir, as it closely recounts the lived experiences of mother and daughter, almost reminiscent of a survivor’s story.
What is particularly interesting to note is the conviction with which the mother supports her daughter and never stops believing in her overall potential to overcome these challenges. Her honesty and directness make the book more human and more accessible rather than painting her struggles as an isolating experience. She alone becomes the stability Annie yearns for, the solid foundation on which she stands anchored when everything else convinces her that she is crazy. Stafford tells the story of her daughter with immense empathy and subtle pride, evoking in us a sense of compassion, understanding, and wonder.
Although painfully fragmented, Annie’s voice still rings clear through the excerpts her mother cleverly selected and scattered throughout the work. Although some parts of the book veered off into religion, theology, or mysterious spiritual awakenings, the narrative seemed cluttered at times, but there is much in this book that is eye-opening.
Pages: 242 | ASIN: B0BL1CSCJX