Saturday, December 1, 2012

January First

Rarely did I ever get to watch The Oprah Winfrey show simply because I am still at work when the show aired in my area.  However, I do remember seeing a portion of an episode in which a father discussed his young daughter's schizophrenia and the family's decision to live in two apartments within the same complex in order to keep their younger child safe.
I'd seen some buzz about January First: A Child's Descent into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save her by Michael Schofield and was told by two separate people how good - but heartbreaking- this book was.  I love memoirs, as everyone knows, so despite the fact that the story might not be very uplifting, I plunged right in.
First of all, Schofield's writing is good - even great.  January First is so well written that I couldn't put it down.  I didn't connect the Oprah episode to this memoir for quite a while, although I did think the stories sounded similar.  Eventually making the connection made the book that much better.
I also have to give Schofield a lot of credit.  He lays everything out there- even the part where he shook his infant daughter because he was so sleep deprived that he snapped one day.  Although I questioned some of his parenting decisions at times, I never questioned his love for his daughter.  Raising Janni is a struggle - each and every minute of it, with bursts of happiness and sunshine from time to time.

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