Sometimes the only way through darkness is to return to where it began.
Marianne Stokes fled England at seventeen, spiraling into the manic depression that would become her shadow. She left behind secrets, memories, and tragedy: one teen dead, and her first love, Gabriel, badly injured. Three decades later she’s finally found peace in the North Carolina recording studio she runs with her husband, Darius, and her almost-daughter, Jade…until another fatality propels her back across the ocean to confront the long-buried past.
In her picturesque childhood village, the first person she meets is the last person she wants to see again: Gabriel. Now the village vicar, he takes her in without question, and ripples of what if reverberate through both their hearts. As Marianne’s mind unravels, Jade and Darius track her down. Tempers clash when everyone tries to help, but only by finding the courage to face her illness can Marianne heal herself and her offbeat family.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
A Brit living in North Carolina, Barbara Claypole White writes hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Her debut novel, The Unfinished Garden, won the 2013 Golden Quill Contest for Best First Book, and The In-Between Hour was chosen by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as a Winter 2014 Okra Pick. Her third novel, The Perfect Son, was a semifinalist in the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Fiction. For more information, or to connect with Barbara, visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Echoes of Family beautifully captures the descent of Marianne Stokes into a manic depressive episode in a way that is doesn’t pull any punches, but makes the reader sympathetic all the same. White captures a unique group of flawed people who have come together to form their own “family.” I loved the fact the book was set in both North Carolina and England and that music played such an integral role in the story’s development.
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings First let me say that I have not had much personal history with depression in my immediate circle of friends and family, so I am somewhat naive to mental illnesses, but I do believe that if something is broken you do what it takes to get it fixed - from a broken toe to a broken brain. I went into this book after reading the synopsis thinking that Marianne had healed from her depression and was excited to read a book about the after of mental illness, this was not the case. When Marianne returns to England it may be to heal, but she is far from a place of recovery. This fact made the book a hard read for me. It was hard to read her mania, especially before she makes an effort to move towards find a place of peace.
As a teenager Marianne Stokes had a breakdown when her lover died and her best friend was injured in a car accident. She couldn't deal with her guilt so she fled England. Since then her life had been filled with suicide attempts, manic depression and hospitalizations. Thirty years later, she's happy with her career and her marriage to Darius. Now a second fatal car accident sends her spiraling out of control and she runs away to the small English village where it all started. Can she come to terms with the past? Marianne is a survivor. I admired her inner strength and her desire to help other lost girls. Echoes of Family is an emotional journey through the hell of mental illness. I couldn't put this book down. It was a revelation. Gabriel, her best friend and confidant, followed his desire and is now a Vicar. When he sees Marianne again, his world shatters, but old habits die hard and he takes care of her. When Jade, Marianne's self-proclaimed baby girl and Darius arrive, the situation becomes incredibly complex. The attraction between Jade and Gabriel grows as they try and help Marianne. Does it stand a chance? Barbara Claypole White has written an intense emotional story that is filled with despair, hope and second chances. As the truth is revealed after three decades, I hoped that there would be acceptance and healing, but I wasn't sure that was possible. This story's brought me to tears. I want another novel to continue Jade and Gabriel's story. I need answers.
Favorite Quotes: If she'd passed him on the street, he would have been a stranger, this man who had once been her co-conspirator, her conscience when she didn't have one, her best friend, her childhood sweetheart, her first love. The guy who represented childish pranks and first gropes. The person who had every reason, plus a few extra, to hate her. It seemed he was stuck in a repeating pattern of dysfunction, dating and marrying crazy like a repeat offender who'd never heard of three strikes. Gorging on chocolate might not have been the best idea, but when you didn't drink, didn't smoke, and didn't do drugs, how else could you get a quick fix? At the risk of sounding like a trailer for a B-list horror movie, it takes a village to keep you safe when you have demons gnawing at your brain. So please, if you know people battling mental illness don't judge them when they fail, which they will do. Help them get back up, as Gabriel and my family have done for me... EmJ and I have both failed. But we are not failures. Take it from an expert: you're never truly lost if someone cares enough to come find you. Lost is waiting to be found. My Review: Echoes Of Family was a difficult read, about a difficult woman, who was difficult to like. Large sections of the book kept me taut with tension, yet like coming upon on an accident scene, I couldn't stop or look away. Mental illness is generally cruel and nondiscriminatory, and so was the heroine of this story. Marrianne was bipolar, a condition also known as manic-depression. She was prone to extremes - stubborn, impulsive, selfish, immature, messy, loud, high maintenance, and demanding, and when off her medication - even more so and add in violent, and cruel. The narrative was written in third person and prone to torrents of emotion that squeezed my heart. The writing was meticulously detailed with each scene complete with all manner of tiny and observant touches, which became rather disquieting and disturbing during Marianne's manic phases. This was my first experience in reading this author's thoughtful and masterful word-craft, and despite the periods of discomfort, she can count me as a new follower.
I received a free electronic copy of this novel on September 10 from Netgalley, Barbara Claypole White, and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, for sharing your hard work with me. Barbara Claypole White is a favorite author of mine, so there was no hardship in reading this book. And as always, she brings us into a world completely out of our comfort zone, and shines on us a light of understanding. Marianne is a successful 40-something musician, founder of a non-profit group that is a safe haven for teens in crisis, surrounded by music and people she loves and who love her. And she is manic-depressive. For years her bipolar disorder has been under medical control, but a head injury - or peri-menopause - has everything all jumbled up again. Marianne is missing. And we are in her head.... I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a great story, but especially to those who know/love/support someone with mental challenges. A great deal of research went into this story, and it can add to the understanding of these mental conditions.