The View on the Way Down by Rebecca Wait

The View on the Way Down

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:

He did nothing, simply carried on as before. Head down, struggling through the days. Keeping going, getting through. He’d always known, without having to consider it, that there was no chance of recovery. Not for him, not for any of them. The passing years hadn’t changed a thing. There was no getting over this.

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.

Highly recommended.


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

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  1. stujallen says:

    depression is a tough subject to tackle in fiction ,not sure this is one for me as I have had depression up to a few years ago ,I don’t want to relive it ,all the best stu

    1. Jackie says:

      Stu, The reviews I’ve seen seem to say that it can be good for those who’ve had depression, but I guess you have to be in the right place emotionally to try it. Maybe one day?

  2. Judith says:

    This sounds very interesting. I love to learn more about people with certain afflictions, as long as it’s not done in a too obvious way. I’ll look out for this one!

    1. Jackie says:

      Judith, I think you’d enjoy this one – it is such a compelling read. I hope you find a copy :-)

  3. Sandy says:

    You sold me on this one, lock stock and barrel. My son suffers from depression and we have spent the last year trying to get him better. So I feel compelled to read this. Unfortunately it isn’t available yet at my library or on Kindle, so I’m going to sit patiently and hope it comes soon!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, I’m so sorry to hear that your son suffers from depression. This book doesn’t really provide any answers, but it does help to understand what is going on in their head. I hope you manage to find a copy soon.

    2. Francesca says:

      Hello Sandy. Just wanted to let you know that the book is available for Kindle! Try this link:

  4. Sounds wonderful. I think it’s so great when books manage to capture what it’s like to have depression/deal with depression in loved ones (or any mental illness really). Pretty often it’s glossed over or dealt with very ham-fistedly.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, Yes, it seems to be a condition that few authors manage to capture well. It is lovely to see that Rebecca Wait managed it with this one.

  5. Athira says:

    I find it very hard to read about suicide – I don’t think I’ve read very many books surrounding that theme. That said, this one sounds like the perfect book to ease me into reading about this topic. I’ll give it a try.


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