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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Now I'm giving away Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart!

To enter for a chance to win a copy of this book please post a comment answering the following question and make sure to leave me a way to contact you if you win. The question is this... Do you have a loved one who has suffered from severe depression? How has it affected you?

I'll go first. Depression runs on my mother's side of the family. I've learned that not only can it affect me, but because of the genetic correlation I had to be on guard myself. I've also learned that you learn to "tune out" pain when you see someone who is always in the throws of it. Otherwise it can be overwhelming.

I'll select a winner next Sunday, June 27th, using the Randomizer program. Best wishes!

Chasing Lilacs: A Novel

About the book:

It is the summer of 1958, and life in the small Texas community of Graham Camp should be simple and carefree. But not for twelve-year-old Sammie Tucker. Sammie has plenty of questions about her mother's "nerve" problems. About shock treatments. About whether her mother loves her.

When her mother commits suicide and a not-so-favorite aunt arrives, Sammie has to choose who to trust with her deepest fears: Her best friend who has an opinion about everything, the mysterious kid from California whose own troubles plague him, or her round-faced neighbor with gentle advice and strong shoulders to cry on. Then there's the elderly widower who seems nice but has his own dark past.

Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done.

My review:

I read this book from cover to cover in one day. Chasing Lilacs is a wonderful coming of age story about a girl learning to cope with so many things in life that she didn't being why her mother would take her own life, and the other wondering if her mother ever really loved her at all. As Sammie explores the issues her mother struggled with, she starts working through emotional challenges of her own. To make matters worse, her mother's sister moves in and tries to take over thei...more I read this book from cover to cover in one day. Chasing Lilacs is a wonderful coming of age story about a girl learning to cope with so many things in life that she didn't being why her mother would take her own life, and the other wondering if her mother ever really loved her at all. As Sammie explores the issues her mother struggled with, she starts working through emotional challenges of her own. To make matters worse, her mother's sister moves in and tries to take over their home, which Sammie obviously resents. The endearing relationship Sammie had with Slim and with her boyfriend Cly were delightful to read about and were some of my favorite scenes.

I enjoyed the setting and the many things that were classic to that time period, like the kids drinking Ovaltine. The way treatment for depression was described totally fit the time period they were in, too. Because of the details that gave the story an authentic 50s feel, I found myself totally engrossed in Sammie's world. The characters' troubles and heartache seemed real, as did their self-discovery and growth resulting from their pain. The characters were complex, making this novel a delightful read for me. I really felt bad for Sammie's father, and worried that he would make some wrong choices, too. In many ways this story reminded me of Mary DeMuth's Watching the Tree Limbs because it had similar themes and depth to it. Great debut novel!


Janet Thompson said...

Oh wow, what a "close to home" subject! I suffer from depression and have been in a "battle" lately whether to take or not take medication. Taking meds won out, once again! There is such a stigma still attached to mental illness that sometimes people are afraid to take the stuff! But I have finally accepted the fact that I will have to take medication the rest of my life! Hubby and daughter are very happy about that!! lol
Bless you, my friend!!

Jill said...

Sounds like a good book Michelle. I enjoy stories that have a lot of depth to the characters. My 17 year old cousin suffered from depression, however no one knew until it was to late. He ended his life during his senior year in high school. I'm sure there were warning signs that his parents could have seen, but they were having their own problems at the time. It's been close to thirty year since that horrible day that rocked our family, but I still think about him. I wonder what kind of man he would be. He was such a good person, straight A's, involved in his church, the perfect kid. How did it affect me? As a teenager myself when it happened, I felt like he had been selfish. Not thinking about those he was leaving behind and how they would try to pick up the pieces and move on. There was a lot of finger pointing and blame. Still, as an adult, I feel it was a selfish act. But I've never suffered with depression so I have no idea how sad of a world he was living in.

Linda said...

It runs on my Father's side of the family, and has hit all us kids at one time another. As for living at home, it was like living with a 'dry drunk.' It's the main reason I'd love to win this book. Please enter me.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Tina Peterson said...

Hi - I just wanted to let you know that I posted your link on my blog under Teen/Adult Reviews. My blog is for kids and their parents. Ages 0-14/15. I'd love to have you follow me when you get a chance. I'm sure I'm going to learn so much from reading your blog.

Several of us have been discussing YA books on my blog (see the current post and comments) and sent me to you for alternatives to the secular Teen book market.

Thanks! Tina "The Book Lady"

LuAnn said...

My daughter has clinical depression. Most of the time, she copes very well, but there are times when she needs a little boost. She sees a psychologist on a regular basis, which is a huge help to her, and she does take medication when necessary. There have been times, however, when it's been very difficult for my son and me as we have been the brunt of her anger during severe depression bouts. Although we understand she isn't doing it intentionally, it's still very hard on the family.

blueviolet said...

All four of us suffer from depression in the family, so this hits home with me. It's tough!

carla stewart said...

Michelle, Thank you for the great review and especially your take on the mental issue aspects of Chasing Lilacs. I agree with the comments here that it is still a weighty issue today, and I pray that each of you who have family members with depression or if you struggle with it yourself, that you continue to seek the best help available. There are so many more choices of treatment today and many Christian counselors you can talk to.

I'm glad there's been progress and yet, my heart still aches for those who have lost a loved one to suicide and those who struggle daily with depression. Jill, I think you addressed an important point. We often don't know the depth of pain for those who suffer depression.

My hope in writing the book was for others to realize they're not alone. We have friends and family and people in our communities who care. The secret sometimes is finding the right person to share our hearts with.

Thank you, Michelle, for offering Chasing Lilacs as a giveaway and thank you, readers, for the discussion. God's peace to you all.

Anita Yancey said...

I guess I'm lucky, I don't know anyone who has suffered from depression. The book sounds really good. Please enter me. Thanks!


karenk said..., i don't believe that i have...
thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous book :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

windycindy said...

Actually, I am the one who has suffered from depression and
anxiety since childhood. I take
two different medications and have
had therapy off and on for years.
I regret the stigma that is still
attached to mental illness.
Thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

wow, as you know l was extreamly depresed for a few yrs due to my circumstances... l took meds and struggled daily for awhile. l still struggle from time to time. sounds like yet another good book! Percy ;)

Marla said...

Yes, my husband suffers from depression and anxiety/panic attacks. It is very trying sometimes when he has an episode. to cope, I meet with his counselor and because she is married to someone who has a similar condition, she has been able to give me many tips on how to handle. The first thing I had to learn was not to take his condition personally. Because he likes time to himself when he has an episode, I use that time as time for myself and time to get things done that I find hard to get done otherwise. So far, I'm managing, but it can be a struggle, as I also suffer from depression off and on. However, it would be so much harder if not for having God to take my troubles to. Thank you for the giveaway. Would love to have a chance to read this book. God bless!

rbooth43 said...

I have sufferred from depression, have taken meds and been a recluse especially after my husband died in 2001. I write in a journal now and write short stories for and about family and friends. I'm an avid reader and have started writing reviews for Good Reads and Library Thing. I also found about the author blogs and enjoy reading them. Now I am better except some nights, still.
Thanks for this post.

God Bless You!

Julia M. Reffner said...

I really appreciate that you tackle subjects like this that others might shy away from, Michelle. No need to enter me for Carla's book, as I already have it here in the pile. I'm looking forward to reading it, as I, too have struggled with depression. So, in fact, have 4 straight generations in my family. God is so good to help us through, which involves prayer, the Word, and yes sometimes Christian counseling and medications. My husband was recently put on medication for depression, so I'm really feeling for him right now. And I didn't intend to write all this but...
Bless you for writing a book tackling this subject in the church, Carla. It is very much needed.

Steve Capell said...

Thankfully, no one close to us has had severe depression, but we have two people that my wife has on her side of the family that have mild depression and with drugs they are doing fine. Thanks for hosting this review and also giveaway.


mindy said...

yes i have and had to make a life changing decision because of it thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

Mary said...

One of my very dearest friends suffers from depression. It's hard because one day she can be up and then the next day, so down that she wishes she didn't feel anything anymore. I try my best to be there for her and listen and offer my love when it's needed. There are days when she makes me feel so very sad for her.


Esther Y.M. said...

I used to suffer from depression and was even admitted into the Psych ward two years ago- my pre Jesus life.

The day the Lord touched me I was totally freed from all medication and treatment.

And I only know one medicine for depression-the Word of God- everytime I feel some issue or thought ready to bring me down i start reading the book of Psalms. Starting from Psalm 1, by the time i reach psalm 5 or 6 I am all :))))))

I know and totally know that there is no other remedy or medicine that can make depression go away except the Word. And I will recommend it to all.

Nowadays, I am the one visiting the wards to pray and draw them to the one and only Healer i know.

please enter me for this contest.


Sarah E said...

A couple close relatives of mine suffer from depression. However, the effect on my life has been minimal due to the fact that they live in a foreign country. If nothing else, their struggles with depression have made me more aware of the condition.

Please enter me in this giveaway!

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Patsy said...

In my childhood, my mother suffered from depression. Well back then the doctors just said it was her nerves. For the sake of not knowing what else to call it, that's what the doctors always said. She went to the doctor several times and he finally said that if she came to him one more time, he was going to admit her to a hospital. I'm glad that never happened.She is better now, but I too have my periods of depression and am on medication for it. I was put on medicine shortly after hurricane Katrina. There were other bad things that happened during that time, and I seemed not able to handle things. Also having Fibromalgia doesn't help the depression. I am doing very well now, but there are still some days that I have to talk myself out of a bad mood.

Nickolay said...

My aunt suffers from depression. This book is a close subject to me. I would love to read this book.


Alicia said...

I've worked with someone with severe depression, but no one in my close circle of family & friends suffers.

Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

bloggyig at gmail dot com

Michelle Sutton said...

and the winner is...

Windy Cindy!!!

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