Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The Isolation Door, Anish Majumdar ~ Book review
The Isolation Door was an interesting read. Written from the perspective of our main character, a young man in his twenties, we watch as he struggles to find himself.
Neil is someone whose name I honestly forget - even after reading about him for 300+ pages. I became so absorbed in the character that he could have been nameless and that would have been okay with me. Perhaps that sounds odd or off-putting, even, but for me it showed the flow of the story. Showed how more often than not we were experiencing this world AS Neil, as opposed to through him. I hope that makes sense.
He's a young man who struggles not only with finding himself, but with making connections. ANY kinds of connections. With being true to who he believes he should be. With loyalty to his mother. His father. His aunt. His friends.
The most profound aspect of this story is the relationship with his mom.
Watching his mother struggle with schizophrenia, his father's reactions, his somewhat bizarre relationship with his aunt, connections or lack of them with his peers, so much of it puts us in the mind of the child of a schizophrenic. Mental illness is something that can be difficult to write, but Majumdar speaks (or writes, I suppose) from experience. He has a mother with schizophrenia. He has written this so Neil can relate to him. So he can relate to Neil. That's my guess. My understanding of the story. The characters.
Neil's mother struggles so. She's hospitalized and we learn of how his father has not been supporting her in ways that he should have been. Or we think so. Or Neil thinks so. It's confusing. It's supposed to be, because it's confusing for Neil, too. I encourage you, if you're up for it, pick up a copy and try to figure it all out.
This book started strong and maintained a great flow. It did slow down some when Neil became enmeshed in Emily's life - although this was a good thing - or seemed to be - it dragged a bit for me. It picked up, for sure, but took a little bit of time getting there.
Despite that I still think of this as an intriguing read. And after reading this I'm interested in picking up Majumdar's non-fiction. If he can capture so much of this experience in his fiction writing, I'm guessing that it's even more detailed and thorough in his non-fiction work.
EXCITING NEWS! I just learned that I have three copies to give away of this book. Just leave me a comment below letting me know you're interested and you could win. And if you want to order a copy for yourself, check it out on Amazon today: The Isolation Door.
* I received a copy of this book through TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. All expressed opinions are strictly my own. There is an affiliate link in this post and I might make a few pennies if you buy the book through it - so thanks in advance! *