From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a story of a family facing the ultimate question: how far will we go for those we love the most?
When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic, and the story of how, over the span of decades, his younger siblings - the responsible Celia and the tightly controlled Alec - struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled existence. Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how you see the most important people in your life.
As I stepped out of the cabin, whiteness blinded me. The snow-covered yard glistened under the full sun. Icicles lining the roof of the shed dripped with meltwater. The fir trees, which had stood motionless and black against the gray sky, appeared alive again, green and moist in the fresh light. The footprints that Michael and I had made on the snowy path were dissolving, fading into ovals on the flagstone. Beneath our tracks in the driveway I could see gravel for the first time since we'd arrived. For weeks it had been frigid cold, but now had come this December thaw. I wasn't certain what day it was, or what time, only that it had to be well after noon already.
Across the road stood the young lobsterman's truck. Brown water seeped from the icy muck caked to its undercarriage. The red tarp covering his woodpile showed through a dome of melting snow. Up the slope, on the roof of his little white Cape, smoke rose from the chimney into the sheer blue.
I had to ...
The parents and siblings here are interdependent in many ways, especially as they try to rescue each other from the present reality and aftermath of mental illness. This is a powerful read for fans of family stories.
(Reviewed by Rebecca Foster).
Full Review (745 words).
In Imagine Me Gone, John and his son Michael, both struggle with mental illness.
Significant research has been conducted to search for the genetic basis for mental disorders. Family linkage and twin studies are particularly revealing. At present, there is no simple answer as to how mental illness might pass through families; environmental factors and the child's development interact with genetics to make it a very complex matter. Any mental disorder is probably encoded for by multiple genes, meaning it cannot be detected by a simple genetic test as is possible for conditions like Down's syndrome or cystic fibrosis.
However, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the susceptibility to mental illness "is ...
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