Entangled in Darkness
on May 24, 2011
This was a difficult book to read due to the subject matter of depression & bipolar disorder & also what seemed to me to be a bit of schizophrenia thrown in for good measure. The author definitely knows her subject (mental illnesses) inside and out, but I felt the book lacked a smooth flowing sequencing of events. The main character Annalyn slips into the throes of mental illness shortly after embarking on an independent life away from her troubled family. She moves into an apartment & begins college and in short fashion, her troubles begin. I found it difficult to accept that it only took about one week on her own to fall into deep despair, and depression......I would have thought that she could have enjoyed life away from her obviously mentally ill and emotionally/mentally abusive father for at least a few months. However, in just one week away from her unpredictably angry and seemingly hate-filled father, she crumbles. My personal experience with despair and depression says it takes more than one week of attending college classes to have everything fall to pieces. The remainder of the story details her superspeed descent into total inability to function and the inability for anyone to help her help herself. Her family dynamics are skewed.....there's no explanation for the bitter rancor between her and her elder sister Lydia and the previously great relationship Annalyn had with her younger sister Janey is irrevocably damaged after Annalyn makes a futile suicide attempt. I would have found it more plausible that the younger sister would have been more forgiving given that the two had supposedly had such a close and caring relationship. The amount of rage and animosity and inability to forgive coming from the younger sister just did not ring true for me. The mother/daughter relationship was undefined which I find best illustrated by this: "Our mother was there, but she would only protect Janey as much as she could. And beyond that, our mother was so busy making him happy that she didn't really work on making us happy." Now that just sounds totally contradictory to me....which was she a mother that would protect as much as she could or a mother too absorbed in making her husband happy? That's quite a dichotomy. And the ending? Well, if you're not in a really happy place when you think about reading this book, then I wouldn't recommend reading it at all.