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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Too Bright To Hear, Too Loud To See

I was gripped by the premise of Too Bright To Hear, Too Loud To See by Juliann Garey--mental illness and the effects of a breakdown.

Greyson Todd has a fabulous life--a beautiful wife, an equally beautiful young daughter, and a dream job at a movie studio. But he can't escape his mind. He has been functioning since his breakdown in law school, but the manic depression comes back with a vengeance and he disappears. This first-person account of a decent into madness and the desperate clawing back out takes the reader around the world but never outside of an aching and anguished head.

This book left me stunned and bereft. I feel as though everyone has had some run-in with mental illness and can imagine the pain that a person must go through when demons overtake their being. I can't say that I personally understand this type of madness that Greyson goes through, but I can tell you that reading this book made me sympathetic to the choices, the lack of control, and the feeling of undoing that happens in the midst of manic depression.

Garey has done a beautiful job of weaving together a story that could easily have gone off the rails into, "What on earth..." I was addicted to Greyson and his story and I felt that I was letting him down when I had to turn off my Kindle to get off the train. I was pulling for him by the end of the book, and while we don't get a happy ending (because that wouldn't be fair, really), we do get a satisfyingly unsatisfying one. Life will never be perfect for anyone, regardless of mental state, so let's make the best of what we can.


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