Review of Echoes of Family by Barbara Claypole White

Echoes of FamilyIn true Barbara Claypole White fashion, Echoes of Family takes us into the life of Marianne Stokes, a caring, giving wife and mother, and creative record producer. Who also happens to be bi-polar.

Marianne lived a carefree life in the small English town of Newton Rushford, the girl who always caused a stir and lived for the moment. But a tragic accident changed her teenage life forever, and plunged her into a bi-polar free-fall.

If purgatory exists, it comes without sound. Nothing to deaden thoughts.

Marianne had long believed that to be true, and the handful of compliant crazies in the waiting room proved her right.

After years of struggling with her illness and its by-products – alcoholism and suicide attempts – Marianne thinks she finally has her life back on track. But another devastating accident plunges her back into the past, and resurrects the guilt she’s held for a lifetime.  She’s compelled to leave her home in America and return to England, where it all started. A last-ditch effort in her search for the peace that has yet again eluded her.

Gabriel Bonham was her childhood best friend, and the love of her teenage life. That fateful accident years ago devastated him, as well. When Marianne returns to Newton Rushford thirty years later, she finds him in the least-expected place. And although Gabriel invites her to stay, Marianne is a most unwelcome visitor from his past.

Marianne’s family – Jade, a brilliant young lady she rescued from the streets and adopted, and Darius, her ex-rock-and-roll-star husband with his own mercurial moods – must find her to save her from herself.

Will Marianne and Gabriel be able to overcome the past tragedy they shared between them? And will they finally be able to forgive each other and themselves?

Love – a strange word. It tasted of dust.

Barbara Claypole White takes us inside the brain of a person struggling with mental illness. But even through her inner turmoil, we also see Marianne’s compassion, love, creativity, and talent.  And we’re thrust into the struggle of a family living with the mentally-ill, trying to weather the ugly while also protecting the beauty. We’re hurled into the push-and-pull of life with someone struggling to overcome the daily battle with their affliction.

Thank you Barbara for once again immersing us into the world of mental illness, and letting us know it can be controlled, and there is always hope at the end of the dark and desolate path to sanity.

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