TITLE : The Boy Between: A Mother and Son’s Journey From a World Gone Grey
AUTHORS : Josiah Hartley, Amanda Prowse
GENRE : Non-Fiction, Mental Health, Depression, Memoir, Biography
FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐( 5 Stars)
DATE OF PUBLISHING : November 1st 2020
DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
The Boy Between by Josiah Hartley and Amanda Prowse is an emotional and a brutally honest portrayal of their journey through Josiah’s depression. I have never read an Amanda Prowse book. I have seen her name before, but I haven’t gotten around to her books yet. When I saw this title, I was intrigued, and I wanted to know more about their journey and experience regarding depression. I have struggled with it and trying to not let depression or darkness rule your life is a daily struggle. Reading this, I can see the different perspectives and also understand what goes through a person’s mind when they are battling their inner demons. I want to congratulate Josiah for being open and honest about his experiences. Being courageous enough to open up about one’s inner turmoil is not easy and I pray he finds peace and serenity in life.
The book is written in alternating chapters of Josh and Amanda’s perspectives. They talk about the different events in life and how they dealt with it. Their stories were heartbreaking, with the individual struggle at the forefront and the ill-equipped family’s persistence to make Josh better. Reading their experiences I could relate to their pain and frustration. Also, Josh’s struggle in surviving and living was heart wrenching to read about. I could see the patterns and habits that were making things difficult for him. The story is emotional, and I had a hard time reading it. At times the emotions were too much for me, and at times I couldn’t put it down either. It is a very important book that needs to be read by parents and children alike to see and hear things from the perspective of someone who is battling depression daily. I believe this book is paramount in bringing awareness and understanding of what is going through their minds. And it can also change the cultural stigma attached to mental illness and mental health.
The Boy Between does a fantastic job of helping the readers understand the daily struggles and difficulties faced by people who have depression. It shows us the brutal and ugly reality. The authors invite us into their homes and are offering the unvarnished and unfiltered version of events to remove the stigma attached to it. The book is an honest and raw shot of their lives. They have invited us, readers, into their private and intimate space and shown us their sweat, blood, and scars. It is not an easy read by any means, and if you are triggered by suicide or mental health topics, don’t pick up this book. But I do believe it is important for everyone to read this book to understand people with depression better and to support and help them. It will hopefully help individuals and families who are struggling as well. This is vital in creating awareness of mental illness and how tumultuous the journey is for the person living with it and for the families supporting them in their loved one’s journey.
Overall, this book was an amazing read. It was a compelling read. The writing is good, and it engages with you from the very first page. I gave the book 5 stars. While at times it was heartbreaking and emotional, I also loved the openness, and direct approach both of them took in telling their stories. If you are looking for books that talk about mental health and depression I highly recommend reading this book. In my opinion, this book should be read by everyone, period!
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Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…
Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.
Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.
In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.
For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.