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@Read E-pub ⚾ Imagine Me Gone Ú When Margaret s fianc , John, is hospitalized for depression in s London, she faces a choice carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her She decides to marry him Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody Over the span of decades, his younger siblings the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec struggle along with their mother to care for Michael s increasingly troubled and precarious existence I ve put off writing this review for far too long, because I just don t know what to say It did draw me in at the beginning, but then kept me at a distance from the characters In the story, a fathers mental illness is passed to one of the sons, and is told through his eyes While this gave me an inside look at the thoughts and actions of one with such an illness, it also distanced me from the deeper emotions of the family I was left with a feeling of this is what happened For me, I really mi I ve put off writing this review for far too long, because I just don t know what to say It did draw me in at the beginning, but then kept me at a distance from the characters In the story, a fathers mental illness is passed to one of the sons, and is told through his eyes While this gave me an inside look at the thoughts and actions of one with such an illness, it also distanced me from the deeper emotions of the family I was left with a feeling of this is what happened For me, I really missed not having apersonal connection to the story I did absolutely love Haslett s writing though Very sophisticated, yet not overly so I got to look up many words that I was only somewhat familiar with Thank you Kindle While this book may have not hit the spot for me, I will be checking out his others 4.5 starsAs someone who has dealt with mental illness in his family, I found Imagine Me Gone so honest and redemptive Adam Haslett confronts the tough questions that come with loving someone in pain how much do you try to save someone before you have to let them save themselves How do you act with compassion when it feels like everyone needsthan you had to begin with Where do you draw the line between wanting someone to live for your own sake instead of their own These questions and m 4.5 starsAs someone who has dealt with mental illness in his family, I found Imagine Me Gone so honest and redemptive Adam Haslett confronts the tough questions that come with loving someone in pain how much do you try to save someone before you have to let them save themselves How do you act with compassion when it feels like everyone needsthan you had to begin with Where do you draw the line between wanting someone to live for your own sake instead of their own These questions andrang through my mind as I finished this book, along with gratitude that Haslett crafted such a somber, moving story of a damaged family forever in the process of healing.Approach this book if you can stomach sadness avoid it if you search only for happiness in your stories Haslett s novel follows a five member family that begins with Margaret and John, who marry each other in 1960s London even after Margaret learns of John s secret, devastating depression The rest of the book unfolds in decades and includes the perspectives of their children troubled and frenetic Michael, who obsesses over music and racial justice, resolute middle child Celia, who serves as the rational backbone of the family, and attention seeking Alec, whose flair for drama hides a love that Margaret deems the most simple and unquestioning of the three The family struggles and at times succeeds in caring for one another over many years, and they intensify their efforts to support Michael as his well being deteriorates asandtime passes.The characters in Imagine Me Gone exemplify quiet resilience Haslett imbues each member of the family with nuance and depth They come most alive in their interactions with one another how Celia listens to Michael s fanatic rambles, how Margaret pays for his bills without question, how Alec attaches himself to all their problems and cannot let go Each family member tests how deep and how far they can extend themselves for one another Sometimes they fail, which makes them the most human of all.I loved Haslett s careful, genuine approach to addressing mental health and illness in this book He avoids glamorizing any of the characters pain and renders them three dimensional, giving them interests and quirks alongside their battles He tackles the complexities of mental illness from multiple angles Michael s fraught and damaging dependency on medication, Celia s profession as a therapist, and the family s shared trauma surrounding John s depression Imagine Me Gone raises important questions about mental illness as the topic gainsattention in public discourse As any good therapist would treat their clients, Haslett puts his characters first, and his compassion for them shines even when the novel itself feels shrouded in darkness.Overall, a sad book with remarkable insight and prose Though at first I had mixed feelings about Haslett s detached narrative, I grew to appreciate his writing style As a gay younger brother myself, I resonated the most with Alec, though all of these characters stole my heart in some way Imagine Me Gone serves as my favorite novel of 2016 thus far and the closest one to receiving five stars since I finished Hanya Yanagihara s masterpiece A Little Life Check Haslett s novel out if you want a poignant, thought provoking mood dampener Anyone one who has any type of mental illness, or who has a family member or friend who has struggled with one knows how pervasive it is All consuming, bigger than life itself, so it is not surprising that this book is very difficult to read, disturbing and heartbreaking Yet, the author does a wonderful job explaining not only the inner life of the sufferer but giving voice to all family members He treats his characters, with insight, respect and compassion Michaels story is the most impactf Anyone one who has any type of mental illness, or who has a family member or friend who has struggled with one knows how pervasive it is All consuming, bigger than life itself, so it is not surprising that this book is very difficult to read, disturbing and heartbreaking Yet, the author does a wonderful job explaining not only the inner life of the sufferer but giving voice to all family members He treats his characters, with insight, respect and compassion Michaels story is the most impactful in this novel, his story like the illness itself is large, larger than the other family members who tell their stories This family though, has suffered plenty already and it is amazing how they all care for each other, try to take care of each other Protect their mother and try continuously to help their brother We get a pretty clear picture of Michael s illness, his obsessiveness, through his musings, his outlandish stories but the author also tries to show Michael as a person separate from his illness, his interest in music and his record collection, black history and reparations Although everything he does is carried to the extreme, anxiety ridden This is not a book for everyone It is plenty sad but it does show family unity, family and friends caring for each other, tying their best to get on with their own lives while still being there for the person, brother, son who needs them the most.ARC from publisher Update 4 20 16 I wrote this review yesterday I m still thinking about this family and the challenges they lived with After talking to a friend about a disturbing scene I have chosen to update this review to give a warning I don t want to give spoilers but I think its fair to say that this book might not be the best choice if you are living with a loved one who is very depressed, or suffers with a mental illness That said.its an insightful book well written much compassion Update 4 20 16 I wrote this review yesterday I m still thinking about this family and the challenges they lived with After talking to a friend about a disturbing scene I have chosen to update this review to give a warning I don t want to give spoilers but I think its fair to say that this book might not be the best choice if you are living with a loved one who is very depressed, or suffers with a mental illness That said.its an insightful book well written much compassion.with enjoyable bright textured characters I suggest reading several reviews This was an engrossing look at the power of mental illness a deeply personal story about what happens when that power overwhelms a family of five Adam Haslett wrote a courageous novel allowing us to see what it s like to live with a serious illness from different standpoints the family John, Margaret, Michael, Celia, and Alec What I found admirable, throughout this story, is blame was never a weapon howeverthrough the storytelling which feels so realistic , it s clear how messy and complicated it is in trying to help a person with this illness Very well written the multiple perspectives opens our eyes to what an entire family struggles with as a unit This is a compelling story revealing the human impact for those who suffer directly and for those who love the sufferer It s not easy to make sense out of the chaos irrational rages fears anxiety medications what works what doesn t depression denial feeling helpless guilt shame isolation codependency feeling empty or manipulated but Adam Haslett wrote a compassionate storyeach of the characters warmheartedness and their rapport with each other cultivate an inspiring presence regardless to limits around bailing others out and or listening to periodic tirades For family members in distress.this novel is gut wrenchingyet there are many moments of Goosie Good Feelings , too Thank You, Little Brown and Company, Netgalley, and Adam Haslett