If You Left

By Ashley Prentice Norton
Star Rating

Rated by Megan C.
Jul 27, 2016

I picked up this book because I had liked The Chocolate Money by the same author. Norton has a talent for brutal honesty, holding back nothing about her protagonists’ motives and thoughts. In The Chocolate Money we witness the fraught relationship a privileged young woman has with her eccentric heiress mother. An heiress herself, Norton writes what she knows, and in If You Left, she continues that trend by exploring a wealthy woman’s relationship with her family as she struggles with mental health issues, which Norton has opened up about in various interviews.

It is easy to sympathize with

Love Me Back

By Merritt Tierce
Star Rating

Rated by Melody K.
Mar 12, 2015

In this novel, Marie, a young mother, is a server at an upscale Dallas restaurant.  Some nights the tips border on phenomenal. Yet, she is slowly suffocating under a great, sorrowful blanket of depression. She exists, she suffers, she endures acts of degradation and abuse from men on the off chance that occasionally she will experience something other than sadness and pain. Her daughter is a buoy that she lets go of to sink back into the nasty muck. Love Me Back holds no happy ending, no redemption.  Tierce is excellent, she never takes the focus off Marie even when it sickens us to watch.

Darkness Visible

By William Styron
Star Rating

Rated by Becky C.
Jan 14, 2015

William Styron was already an accomplished, award-winning author by the mid-1980s when he suffered a devastating episode of clinical depression. His novels The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie’s Choice had made him famous and respected in the literary world. Meryl Streep won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the protagonist in the film version of Sophie’s Choice. To someone who had never experienced clinical depression, Styron must have appeared on top of the world.

Styron’s descent into severe depression, for which he was eventually hospitalized, is chronicled in his

Little Bee

By Chris Cleave
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Sep 22, 2009

Books that don’t match their descriptions are extremely annoying, and this one especially so. The book jacket says, “It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.” And the beach scene really is exceedingly horrific. Unfortunately, the comic relief I was led to expect never followed. I failed to be even slightly amused by this story of Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee, whose life becomes entangled with a vacationing English couple.

That isn’t to say this isn’t a good book. After Little Bee’s entire family is killed, her sister in an especially horrid way, Little Bee stows away