|About the Book|
There is a lot of empathy for Molly McCloskey-- dealing with a mental illness in the family, and especially one as baffling as schizophrenia, has torn more than one family apart, and can be heartbreaking for everyone in the family. But I didnt get the feeling in this book that Molly really found her older brother, Mike, at all. It seems as if the 14 year difference in their ages didnt allow her to have a good perspective on him before he got sick, and there wasnt all that much about him-- aside from reporting on his immediate behavior-- after he got sick either. The book may have been more effective if she had included much more of the feelings, thoughts and insights for her brother Tim, who was only two years behind Mike and, by her own statement, was the most affected by the drastic change in Mike brought on by the disease. I didnt get the impression she really understood schizophrenia, and that she hadnt talked to anyone else who had a family member who suffered from it. There was a lot in the book about her (and Tims) struggle with alcohol-- but she never linked it to what happened to Mike and the splintering of her family. The struggle her Mother had also seemed rather muted, as though Molly really couldnt relate to that either.Having seen this disease up close and for years in an extended-family member, I may be a bit biased-- but right to the end, Molly really didnt seem to know much about Mike.