Thank you to Shannon at Reads and Reels for putting up with me being late for this tour! This was an amazing read that definitely needs to be processed.
A raw story of courage and redemption.
Daniel settles for a mundane office job in the suburbs but is haunted with guilt. When a
beautiful woman from his past appears, it ignites a chain reaction, setting him on a journey to confront his troubled history. Based on actual events, this inspiring story attempts to enlighten its audience with humor, passion and a lesson in perseverance. Will Daniel be able to brave his trauma and put his inner demons to rest? Or will he be consumed by the most cunning adversary of all? The truth.
“The kettle’s hiss like snakes, closer and further from wisdom. The leaves like memories, beneath the water tumbling. I visited six service stations in corners untouched by madness, the hatred of plastic Freudian secrets like torn glovebox prescriptions. I crashed in an outskirt field, where snowflakes cursed your name silently. Clarity is a term for mendicants knowing ugly impending truths. Remembering now the hours spent, driving insane without you. I cried tonight alone, caressing your genius.”
This was a tough one. This review is actually somewhat late since I had to take a while to digest and get my thoughts in order.
I don’t know how much of this story is true, if any of it. This novel is written in such a personal fashion that it was hard to sort out my own feelings on it. It was written in a disjointed way that even had me questioning what was real and what was just in Daniel’s struggling mind.
“As a race, humans have existed for thousands of years without psychiatry, therapy or medications. Why now is it more important than in previous decades when we were fine without them? America survived the Great Depression without Prozac,”
The hardest part of the story was trying to wrap my mind around who I should be feeling for. With mental illness, everyone suffers. The person actually inflicted with it, but also those around them.
“Bipolar Disorder was just another description for having feelings. Wasn’t it?”
It was a challenge reading Daniel’s struggle with life and reality, blaming people who didn’t even know they’d done anything. Women who would speak to Daniel and didn’t understand why he thought they had a relationship, friends who because a part of his paranoid delusions, etc.
“I felt like the skeleton in someone’s closet. The secret I kept was not to be shared, and in a way, I was also locked away.”
Maybe it’s just because I’m a fellow sufferer, but Daniel had some of the most logic that I’ve heard in a long time. With his Buddhist ideals, I really think that, even in his worst frame of mind, he had some great ideas for the world, in general.
“What we needed was a transition from a world where the rule is “It’s us or them,” to a world where “us” and “them” are no longer separated by a conjunction. To take it one step further, a world where there is no them. Just us.”
As unpredictable as he was off his medication, the fact that he was still reaching out (in unconventional ways that I would LOVE to steal!) to try to make the world a better place. Let’s NOT throw our religions around. Let’s just follow the simple rules of treating people how we would want to be treated. I think that falls into any belief. We ALL just want to be recognized as human beings with a heart and a soul. We all need support. We all need to be cared for and we all want to care for others….what’s so wrong with that??
“Humans, I imagined, were not meant to be predictable, and if they were, nothing new or innovative would ever be accomplished.”
I’ll just leave you with, what I think, is the most insightful thing said in the book (ok there was A LOT of insight!)
“Show me the person who decides what normal is and I will show you someone who has never known adventure.”
…..this may literally be my next tattoo.
PICK UP YOUR COPY HERE!
N. Daniel currently resides in Downtown Minneapolis and works as a live-in caregiver for a quadriplegic individual. When he isn’t writing or caring for his client you can find him wandering the city’s skyways, music blasting in his headphones, or walking along the Mississippi river with family and friends. He frequently volunteers at outreach organizations in the Twin Cities community.. His beliefs center strongly around charity, service to others and supporting causes that protect personal freedoms, especially for the disabled, the poor, those unfairly stigmatized by mental illness, and anyone who suffers. He is inspired by redemption stories, especially the character arc of Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.