I don’t generally accept books to review, deciding instead to simply review what I choose to read, but in this case I made an exception. I was contacted by Publishing Push and then by the author herself and although my main reasoning for saying yes then was that the book was only 52 pages long, now, I’m delighted that I did.
Circle of Dolphins is a vivid description of life inside a psychiatric hospital. The author tells of her own experiences both before being diagnosed as schizophrenic, and the events that followed as she had to come to terms with the real world.
Fortunately, in recent years a lot of work has been done in the area of mental health. Although I’m sure progress has been made with its treatment, what I mean specifically here is with regard to its understanding and acceptance.
Clare Roskilly was sectioned when she was twenty-two and the first part of this book covers her experiences in the psychiatric facility she ended up in. I can tell you she had many scary and often violent moments but the overwhelming feeling I got from reading this was one of bewilderment as she tried to make sense of and deal with her situation.
The writing is clean and concise as she simply tells the story of what she encountered and I think that is what makes it so interesting. This is Clare’s life and she recalls the things that were important to her at the time, those things that made an impact.
The second part of the book was written some fifteen years later and covers what has happened to her since the breakdown. It shows just what a battle dealing with mental illness is, every day. I applaud the author for everything has made of her life and wish her every happiness.
There is a superbly chosen quote at the beginning of this book:
Be ready for whatever comes, dressed for action and with your lamps lit.
Luke 12:35 (Good News Bible)
I think this sums up what this book meant for me. There is no real explanation as to why this happened to Clare and some of her thoughts and descriptions made me realise just how perilous life is. How close we all are to the edge of something like this happening to us and the devastating impact it would have on our lives.
The author states at the end of the book that she is happy to have put this down on paper and I’m sure it was cathartic for her. At the same time, I can tell her it will also be an eye-opener for everyone who chooses to read it.