The Bottom Line
Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg is an intimate look at how one father deals with his daughter's mental illness. The story is told with raw emotion but also finesse and humor, but you have to forgive the author for the occasional use of questionable terms for mental illness.
- A look at mental illness through a father's eyes.
- Easy to read like fiction but full of true human emotion.
- Questionable use of language to describe mental illness.
- Needs a sequel!
- Raw, honest and intimate - this book is how this father felt about his teen daughter's psychotic break from reality.
- Reads like a novel with rich and textured "characters" who are the people who inhabit his life.
- The end of the novel leaves you wanted to know more about how his daughter is coping with her life after her teenage years.
Guide Review - Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg
I read this book in a weekend. Hurry Down Sunshine was that engaging and compelling that I felt like I needed to keep going. Michael Greenberg tells the story of his teen daughter's "crack up" in a way that forces you to continue reading. In the end, I felt like I needed a followup novel to help satisfy my curiosity about how he and his daughter are doing today. If you have a teen with mental illness, or know someone who suffers from significant mental illess, this book may - but may not - reflect the feelings and experiences you have had. This book is very much about how Mr. Greenberg experienced his daughter's psychosis, but you might find yourself identifying with him.
There is a minor alert for those who might be offended by the language in the book. Mr. Greenberg does not give an offical diagnosis to his daughter. Other professionals attempt to do so, but that is not the point of the book. Her exact disease is not the focus of the novel, but the symptoms (and the consequences of them) are. Subsequently, the author refers to his teen daughter's break from reality as her "madness" or "crackup." In no way are these terms meant to be deragatory - they are simply descriptions of what he is witnessing. Free of the labels of mental illness, he can then describe the events without being tied to specifics of diagnosis, treatment, or long term illness management. His lack of medical terminology also highlights the fact that the medical establishment knows little about these illnesses, and that the treatment for them is rudimentary at best. She is "mad" and he uses the term expertly.
I would recommend this book to anyone - stepfamilies, families with a history of mental illness, families of teens, and anyone who enjoys a mini family saga. Hurry Down Sunshine is the perfect snapshot of a family dealing with a teen's mental illness.