Five words from the blurb: brother, died, family, apart, truth
Emma is nine-years-old when her brother Kit dies. Her older brother, Jamie, disappears after the funeral and Emma is suddenly the only child in a grief-stricken household. Emma, Jamie, and their parents take turns to narrate the story, which shows how each individual is affected by Kit’s death. The book looks at depression and suicide and enables the reader to understand what depression feels like for both the sufferer and those around them.
I think the taboo surrounding suicide has finally been lifted as this is the third book I’ve read this year that deals with the subject. It was interesting to get an insight into what motivates people to end their life and by the end of the book I felt I understood the pain they go through:
The subject was handled with great sensitivity and had clearly been very well researched (if not personally experienced?). It provided a lot of useful information about interacting with those who suffer from depression and it would be wonderful if this book helped to reduce the stigma faced by families who have lost someone to suicide.
The writing was simple, but effective. It was compelling and managed to maintain my interest throughout - mainly because the characters felt so realistic. It is rare to read a book that manages to capture the thoughts and emotions of so many different people and I loved the fact I could understand and empathise with them all, despite their differing viewpoints. The View on the Way Down didn’t quite move me to tears, but it produced the biggest lump my throat has experienced this year - a surprising accolade that I didn’t think could be taken away from the real-life heartbreak of The Son.
I hope that word about this book spreads and everyone reads it quietly, with an open mind. It is very sad, but the world would be a better place if everyone understood the heartache and challenges of living with depression.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
I don’t use ratings on my blog anymore but if I did this book would get 6 out of 5. Little Reader Library
…(a) spell-binding debut that has completely blown me away. The Unlikely Bookworm
a stunning novel and one which I’ve been unable to review yet because every time I’ve tried, I start crying. The Bibliomouse