Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley (Review and Giveaway)

For all families who are dealing with depression or any other mental illness, this book is a testament that things can get better.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Boy Between: A Mother and Son's Journey from a World Gone Grey by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 286 pages
Genre: Author Memoir, Family
Publisher: Little A
Release date: November 2020
Tour dates: Nov 2 to Nov 27, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 + M: (f-words (about 10), mildly questions religious faith during a testing time and references to thoughts about suicide, not graphic)

Book Description:

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.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

As soon as I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it. Part of me couldn't wait to read it and part of me dreaded it. My interest in this book was two-fold. It's about depression--a topic that both attracts me in books but also makes it hard to read-- and it's written from both the point-of-view of a mother and her son. I could relate in two ways. I have suffered from post-partum depression, and I am the mother of a teen who suffers from depression.

This was both an easy book to read and a hard one. The writing is very compelling, on the part of both authors, pulling me in, absorbing me in my hungry need to know that I am not alone in my struggles with my son, and in my need to know how to best help my son. I cried when I read Amanda's feelings of guilt from not doing enough or the right things. As a mother I am plagued with the same doubts, guilt, worries and helplessness that Amanda went through. My heart also broke for Josiah who felt overwhelmed, sad and in pain both physically and emotionally. Seeing things from his perspective has helped me to think twice about what words I say to my son and about how I show him that I love him beyond all else.

Despite these hard feelings, this is a book about hope. About starting over. About taking it one day at a time. About understanding that mental illness is a big social issue that needs to be dealt with compassion and community support. It's a book about changing the stigma still attached to depression.

I applaud both authors for being so raw in their honest portrayal of what it has been like to be a family dealing with the big challenges brought on by mental illness. It must not have been easy to relive all the emotions as they were being remembered and written.

For all families who are dealing with depression or any other mental illness, this book is a testament that things can get better. That with the right support you can still lead a fulfilling life despite having depression. A very worthwhile read for fans of memoirs and inspirational literature.

Thank you Amanda and Josiah for bravely sharing your story.

Buy the Book:
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Meet the Author:

Amanda Prowse is an award winning international bestselling author best known for her contemporary fiction novels. A radio broadcaster and TV presenter renowned for her empathetic and emotional books, she is known in the UK as the 'Queen of family drama'. Her books have sold over 8 million copies in dozens of languages around the world.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Meet the Author:

Josiah (Josh) Hartley is the son of Amanda Prowse who has co-authored with his mother to tell the story of his journey through life so far. Born in the England, Josh was fortunate enough to attend one of the country's elite public schools from an early age and was awarded a place at one of the UK's top Universities where he planned to work towards a medical doctorate. But just at the moment when he should have been having the time of his life, he started feeling nagging tugs of self-doubt which spiralled into a depression during which time he planned his suicide. Luckily, his family intervened and after a roller coaster couple of years, he is alive and well and sharing his story to help other families who find themselves in the same position navigate their way through those difficult times.

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Ends Dec 4, 2020

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