This book is a heavy read. It is about John and Margaret and their three children Alec, Celia, and Michael. Margaret married John knowing that he had issues with severe depression. He suffered through difficult episodes of it his whole life. Sometimes he would just completely shut down, for weeks or months. Eventually he couldn’t keep a job and it began to have an effect on his wife and children.
Then it turns out that the eldest son, Michael, suffers significantly from depression and anxiety. His mother and siblings do everything they can to help him cope. It really takes a toll on the whole family. A very powerful novel about how depression can effect people and their loved ones.
The author did an outstanding job of putting into words what depression and anxiety feel like. “What do you fear when you fear everything? Time passing and not passing. Death and life. I could say my lungs never filled with enough air, no matter how many puffs of my inhaler I took. Or that my thoughts moved too quickly to complete, severed by a perpetual vigilance. But even to say this would abet the lie that terror can be described, when anyone who’s ever known it knows that it has no components but its instead everywhere inside you all the time, until you recognize yourself only by the tensions that string one minute to the next. And yet I keep lying, by describing, because how else can I avoid this second, and the one after it? This being the condition itself: the relentless need to escape a moment that never ends.”