I had extremely high hopes for this book after looking on Goodreads and seeing that my cousin Hannah had rated it 5/5. As she’s a very infrequent five-starrer, it must be something special, right?
In a way, yes. But in a way, no. I understand that the chronology of the book was reflective of Matt’s mental state and once I got used to it, I found it completely absorbing. But I found it took me a while to get my head around it, and for the first half of the book, I found myself flipping backwards a lot as Matt dipped in and out of present and past; back and forth and what seemed like all over the place.
I found the book heart breaking in a lot of ways, and that was before you even knew the full story of what happened to Matt’s brother Simon. Being first person from Matt’s perspective means you get a glimpse into the madness, the things that he finds perfectly ordinary, and even though you can see that they’re mad, you can also see it from his point of view too. I think it definitely helps that Nathan Filer is a registered mental health nurse and he obviously knows a lot about these kind of conditions. He wrote the book sensitively and compassionately without making Matt into a comical character, which I loved.
I have to say that after finishing the book, I’m still not sure how much I enjoyed it. On one hand, I read it extremely quickly and found it hard to put down, but on the other hand, it just didn’t seem like my kind of book, and I did find it hard to become completely involved in the book. I know that those two opinions sound completely counter to each other, but I don’t know how else to explain it.
I may come back to this book again in the future and maybe I’ll get something else out of it, but for now, I think I can only give it 3/5.