Friday, 24 June 2011

Dear Dee by Sue Uden

A Family in turmoil 
Review by The Mole

John wants retribution for his daughter's broken life. And he wants to fix it. Nickii, his wife, wants for the pain of this quest to stop threatening his health. All Jackie wants is for a miracle rewind to take her back to being a young mother living with her husband and children. Well observed, intelligently expressed and a cracking good read are just a few of the comments which have been made about Dear Dee. Here the devastating impact of mental illness on family life is sensitively described. The reader will be left in no doubt as to the ongoing corrosive impact on the family and individual sufferer. The range of emotions, including guilt as well as a sense of helplessness felt by the family, vividly described in Dear Dee will strike a chord with readers with similar experience. An extremely well-rounded story of people struggling against life's vicissitudes, as well as a celebration of the good times and a family eventually finding a sense of peace after tragedy; the final, poignant, closing lines are at once sad but immensely inspiring and uplifting.

When we were asked if we would review this book we were told "The novel is set in the 1980's and concerns the affects that mental illness have on the sufferer and their family. Although this theme is no bundle of laughs, I think there is enough lightness of spirit and humour to lift it out of the gloom." and it was based on that, that I agreed to review it. Having read it I wanted to find a synopsis to make sure I included no plot spoilers and found the above - a very different kettle of ball games as they say. The book is not about mental illness - it is about a family that has a person that has a mental illness - but firstly it is about the family. The emotions listed in the synopsis are all there and carried to the reader in a manner that has them really feeling for every character in turn. I found myself siding with no-one but understanding and putting a name to each character from my own life. I even found myself, sadly, identifying with Clare when it came to her relationship with the mentally ill character - and yes it made me feel a little guilty.

"Emotional Roller Coaster" is an overused phrase and while this story has happy times, they are normal family happy times and not massive highs - it is a time of change in a family and most such changes bring more sadness than smiles and this story is like life. A very well told story.

Please take the opportunity to read it but maybe you will want to follow it with something a little lighter. I really did enjoy this book and I learned a little about me as well.

Publisher: Olympia Publishers
Genre: Adult Fiction

Buy Dear Dee from Amazon

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