My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Phenomenal – undoubtedly the best non-fiction book I have read so far this year.
This a non-fiction book in which Susannah Cahalan has documented a month of complete horror for herself and her family – a month when she went from being a completely ‘normal’ 24 year old woman to being strapped onto a gurney in a hospital with doctors and nurses contemplating admitting her to a psychiatric ward. It began with flu like symptoms which slowly evolved into constant paranoia – she experienced seizures but the doctors kept telling her to quit drinking, that drinking too much and working too hard was her problem. It got to the point where she believed her own father was an imposter and had battered her step-mother to death. This was when she was finally admitted into a hospital, only for a month of fear and exhaustion to take over – the doctors couldn’t work out what was wrong with her…and time was running out. Susannah’s brain was on fire, it was slowly shutting off and destroying everything that made her who she was. How were they to save her?
This book blew my mind – it had me completely sucked in the whole way through and I had to keep reminding myself that all of this was TRUE. If you need a non-fiction recommendation then this should be your pick! Susannah has since done TED talks and appeared on TV to raise awareness of what happened to her – I don’t want to say what was actually wrong with her as that was the whole point of the book, the suspense was incredible. To top it off, Susannah is a journalist and has writing this book in an extremely digestible way, it was like talking to a friend. Go, read!