Out of the Wilderness: A non-literary book review of A Way Out: A Memoir of Conquering Depression and Social Anxiety, by Michelle Balge
As Michelle Balge acknowledges in her epilogue to A Way Out, the trouble with mental illness is that so much of it is ‘about me, me, me and how I’m insecure, but this is what these illnesses do to you.’ It follows that A Way Out does not hesitate to divulge its author’s most intimate secrets in her long battle with depression and social anxiety. Such honesty and candour lays bare an individual life in ways that illuminate our own experiences of mental illness: in speaking of herself, she speaks of us all.
Feed the Monkey is just one of many excellent blogs reviewing books for this event. I shall be dropping by as many of them as I can, so please take a look at them as well.
The novel I chose to review is The Book of Air by Joe Treasure. Fortunately for us all, it turned out to be among the best books I have ever read, as you will see when my review is published on 27 March.
New Friendships, Old Trauma: Book review of Tess and Tattoos, a short story by H. A. Leuschel
Tess and Tattoos by H. A. Leuschel is a short story whose thematic concerns revolve around the figure of Tess, a cultured woman in her eighties who resides in a Scottish care home, and whose life is reaching its end. Lonely and isolated, she strives to preserve her independence and dignity, but is haunted by her troubled past and a sense of a life wasted. Tess is a well-drawn, sympathetic character and the environment of the care home and its gardens is competently realized.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Book review of The Anarchist Thing to Do, a novel by Michael Raship
Michael Raship’s first novel, The Anarchist Thing to Do, is an accomplished, delightful and engrossing book, full of gentle comedy, sadness and hope. Its story parallels the social changes spanning the 1960s to the 1980s within the United States, as revealed in the evolution of a radical anarchist family of hippies: parents Kaye and Horton, children Skye and Jude.
A Burning Rage: Book review of Fires, a novel by Tom Ward
Novel titles are seldom as apt as Tom Ward’s Fires, which follows Guy, a firefighter in a town dominated by its vast steelworks, and Nathan and his friends, teenage arsonists whose lives are otherwise foreclosed by poverty, corruption and ‘the system’. Guy and Nathan’s paths eventually cross in expected and unexpected ways – most of them fiery – in an intermittently compelling narrative suffused with anger and loss.
I write literary and contemporary fiction: novels and short stories.
I also write book reviews and blog about writing, publishing and indie authors.
My career is in publishing: writing, copyediting, project management, both in-house and as a freelancer.