The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley

Thank you to the author, publisher and Love Books Tours for the digital copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

Here’s the blurb: Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one… Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

Here’s my review: I wanted to post my review of The Boy Between much earlier today but I kept editing and re-editing my words, never feeling satisfied. Whatever I wrote just didn’t seem right.

My thoughts were clumsy and inadequate.

My words couldn’t suitably describe the awe I felt at two people letting the world into their hearts, minds and deepest despair.

My sentences couldn’t give voice to the anxiety I felt as I read Amanda’s memories of Josh’s childhood, knowing that their life would take a turn down a road no parent would ever wish to travel.

My paragraphs couldn’t convey the raw emotion I felt as I read through tear-blurred eyes Josh’s description of his life with depression and the feelings of not wanting to exist any more.

And my review drafts couldn’t make clear just how important I feel this book is for anyone touched personally by depression, or looking on with a feeling of helplessness as someone they care about struggles to get through each day.

So instead, I decided to start from scratch and allow my clumsy, inadequate thoughts to form and be shared authentically. I had to pause typing for a moment there to wipe away the tears which have finally spilled over before I tell you that this isn’t a book of sadness. It’s uplifting, funny at times and will hopefully be talked about for years to come for the difference Josiah Hartley and Amanda Prowse make to other people’s lives, to other boys and girls between. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.