review written by Sue Major for the bookshow
Nathan Filer is a registered psychiatric nurse and this is his first novel. He uses his knowledge to write this book which explores mental health and the development of mental illness, but it also sensitively looks at grief and how that impacts on a family.
The main characters in the book are Simon and his brother Matt, Mum and Dad. It appears to be a happy family enjoying their lives together, but circumstances change and life for Matt goes into a downward spiral.
There is suspense a-plenty, and a slow build up to the realisation of what happened to Simon, and what subsequently happens to Matt, and I suppose this is partly what kept me reading to the end.....to see if things get better ,worse or just stay the same!
Throughout the story the writer uses clever techniques like interweaving images and letters, changing the font and using headings to show Matt's changing and erratic life...and this works well.
Whilst I can applaud the accomplished way that the book is written and certainly acknowledge the skill the writer uses to explore mental illness, this is not really a comfortable read for me. In fact it has helped me decide that I really don't want to read any more books in the “ compelling story of grief, madness and loss” genre! I know that there have been rave reviews of this book....it won Costa coffee book of the year in 2013....but for me, no.