As Sara is confronted with a past she thought she left behind, all the hidden truths are forced to the fore of her mind. She knew she had to do what she did. She had no other choice. Leave and give them a chance at happiness, normalcy. But now it’s all changed and she must decide; is she strong enough to do what she couldn’t 4 years ago?
OK so, I have Bipolar myself, and since diagnosis have been heavily invested in reading as much as I can about it. As can be imagined, this started to result in an overdose of how to’s, self-help and non-fiction. I was nervous about a fiction book as there is always the risk of pure generalisations surrounding mental illness.
What struck me immediately was the sense of knowing I felt. I had expected parallels with my own life at some point but it was shocking to feel a complete kinship to Sara, almost like I could have written this myself had I the talent that CJ Spammer has.
What I battle with is finding a dialogue in characters with mental illness that doesn’t reach the point of exaggeration. What I mean by this is that often there’s too much of the illness pushed into the reader’s face, the highs are too high, the lows are too low. Spammer has focused on the effects of the illness over all. She subtly hints at the insecurities and fears, the maddening internal dialogue we have, and the unhealthy attachments we make. She gives a genuine voice to BP.
“I felt that by saying I had Bipolar, I was making it so. As if keeping it secret would make it untrue”
CJ has made use of song lyrics throughout the book which I absolutely loved, not only because each set of lyrics was tied in brilliantly with the current situation between characters, or scenes, but because it reinforces a side of bipolar that can be quite confusing; triggers. Music for me is a brilliant means of riding the ebbing moods and I appreciate having this reinforced.
And bloody Chapter 30. It spoke to my absolute core fear and just resonated with my soul.
I feel that Misled was a little too short to be honest, I think aspects of the Sara/Justin story could have been more detailed. I’d like to hear more about Grace as well. 4 years is a long time. And there’s this Ryan guy. He is mentioned but never entirely featured we get a wee bit of info about him which I suspect means he’ll be featuring in the sequel.
Sara is not a character that you only pity. It’s not a call for sympathy for her, yes you feel bad for her, and hope she finds happiness, but there is the darker side to her character which is yet again brilliant technique utilised by Spammer. I like that she is a character you both like and dislike.
Ending Misled I felt rather upset about where the sequel (Deceived) will go, I have come to really appreciate Justin and I am hoping my imagined expectation for the plot for Deceived is wrong.
As I closed Misled and tried to gather my thoughts I realised this was a book I needed to read. If you are a mom, who has battled the fear of motherhood with BP – Please read this book. I’ve been reminded why I have to fight hard, and to never stop.