I have been lucky enough to read quite a number of books from authors writing about a wide variety of topics. I decided to select three books that I have had the honour of reading and reviewing that I felt approached the topic of mental health across generations.
All wonderful reads and all currently available to buy.
Please read on to see my thoughts….
My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal:
My Name is Leon is a novel that struck a chord with a lot of people, including me.
We are seeing the world with all it’s distorted shapes and disappointments through the eyes of a nine year old boy. Leon has to deal with quite a lot from such a young age and Kit de Waal portrays this poignantly in her debut novel.
‘Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to take Jake away and give him to strangers. Because Jake is white and Leon is not.
As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile – like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.
Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how – just when we least expect it – we somehow manage to find our way home.’
My Review can be found at : http://www.swirlandthread.com/name-leon-review/
The Difference by Justine Delaney Wilson:
The Difference is a novel written by Irish author Justine Delaney Wilson published earlier this year.
I’m including a quote from Justine herself in order for you to understand why I have included The Difference in my selection.
‘I think that a person unravelling – within her place in her family, in the life she has created – is something most people can relate to, at some stage in their own lives.’
‘On a January morning, Beth and Steve bring three-day-old Ismae home from the hospital. A little girl to complete their suburban family.
Except Beth knows that Ismae is different. And that, as she gets older and stronger, her difference will become more obvious.
As the future Beth imagined grows even more out of reach, the walls of their vast house close in on her, isolating her from Steve.
Then she makes a terrible discovery …
Will Ismae’s difference break her family apart?
Or will Beth be able to see that it’s the one thing that can save her?’
My full review of The Difference is available here:
The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso:
I have included The Woman Next Door in my selection as it deals with the older generation.
As we get older our mental health is as important as ever. The elderly are a generation that too often get forgotten about. The whole notion of getting old, losing your friends/partner and being lonely is a frightening prospect for all of us.
Yewande Omotoso beautifully writes about the breaking down of barriers and the importance of friendship among two women. It truly is an inspirational read and beautifully portrays the importance of a friend for all our mental health, no matter what out age.
‘Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbours.
One is black, one white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed. Both are living with questions, disappointments, secrets. And both are sworn enemies, sharing hedge and hatred and pruning both with a vim and zeal that belies the fact that they are both over eighty.
But one day an unforeseen event forces the women together. And gradually the bickering and sniping softens into lively debate, and from there into memories shared.
But could these sparks of connection ever transform into friendship?
Or is it too late to expect these two to change?’
My full review is available here:
In preparing for this post, I was thinking of some of the books I have and how they touch on the subject of mental health.
I chose these three as I felt they showed how all generations are affected. In my selection we get the perspective of a child, a mother and an octogenarian. All living very different lives. All coming from different backgrounds. Yet they all have one thing in common…..their Mental Health and where their mind can wander if not looked after and protected.
There are shelves heaving with books on the subject of Mental Health. Please take advantage of all services available and please look after your Mental Health.