Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg

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Friday, Jan 29, 2010

This biography is an up-close-and-personal view of mental illness as a father watches his teenage daughter develop psychotic manic-depressive disorder. It is a quick read, like reading a very long newspaper article. It is difficult, too, because you want a happy ending but know from the beginning that there is no way to cure the disease.

I picked the book up based on reviews from others and an ongoing interest in both parenting and mental health issues. I appreciated the first-person narrative and empathized with the father, but also thought that he over-emphasized the randomness of the illness, as though there was no way to see it coming. It is a minor flaw in an overall compelling piece of narrative nonfiction. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading first-person accounts, someone looking for family accounts of mental illness in fiction or nonfiction, or someone looking for self-help books on living with mental illness in the family.

Written by Whitney D.T.