Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Hurry Down Sunshine" Michael Greenburg

I just finished reading "Hurry Down Sunshine", a surprisingly eloquent book about mental illness in its rawest form, by Michael Greenberg. Greenberg recounts the summer when his daughter, Sally, only 15 at the time, spiralled down into the darkness that is mental illness. Sally began to believe that she was experiencing insights into the world that no one else could possibly understand. She feels that it is her duty to inform everyone she meets about her visions, even though to the the average person, these insights barely make sense.
The author, Michael Greenberg, and his wife, Pat decide to take Sally into the hospital for examination, which lands her in a psychiatric ward not far away. There, Sally begins to come to terms with this new side of herself, as she spends time in the hospital and eventually comes home to try to resume her everyday life. While Sally is coming to terms with her illness, Greenberg is trying to piece his life back together. He struggles to understand this new side of his daughter, all the while trying to continue his writing career and to learn how to relate to his wife, who is handling the situation differently from himself.
This story was sensitively and almost poetically written, giving us insight into the terrifying world of mental illness. I appreciated a new insight into this world, one that is often shrouded in mystery. Even better was the fact that Sally approved of her father telling us her story; it took away some of the stigma associated with mental illness. I highly recommend this book as an intelligent, insightful read. More information about "Hurry Down Sunshine" can be found here.

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