This is a great/tragic story of Danielle Steel's son battle with being a manic depressed person. It's a story that will make you cry ALOT - so keep tissues near by. It's a must read for anyone that needs to realize that you never know what lies under the surface of humans. May Nick be at peace.
How do you critique a book about a mother's torment of raising a manic depressive child?
If you've never experienced living with or being close to a severely mentally ill person, you should read this book just to get a glimpse of what the families of 6% of the population in the United States deal with on a daily basis...
The book starts pleasantly enough, with an introduction to the circumstances surrounding Nick's birth, to Steel's marriage to John Traina and her subsequent life in Pacific Heights. It was during this time of personal fulfillment and astounding professional success that Steel began to genuinely recognize that Nick was ill--though no one would believe her.
For those who don't know, for many years it was relatively unheard of to diagnose a child as bipolar or manic depressive, though Nick was. Such obstacles left Steel with few options, as Nick went from angel to devil to a place of crushing depression that eventually took his life.
As time progresses I found myself captivated as Steel articulately portrayed the trials and tribulations regarding her late son's illness, though no one else seemed to think of him as anything other than "spoiled" or "amusing". As Nick's depression and erratic behavior began to escalate, the long battle to accurately diagnose him and attain appropriate treatment began. It's hard to imagine what would have happened if Nick's mother had not been Danielle Steel with all her money and available resources.
Also intertwined within Steel's heart-warming narrative are hysterical tales of Nick's hi-jinks and budding music career with then-band Link 80, whose music you can still find on i-Tunes. For a brief while I almost forgot the inevitable ending, and hoped that Nick would conquer his demons and flourish just like his mother before him. Unfortunately, as we all know, that never had the chance to happen.
Nick passed away of a heroin overdose, leaving his friends, family and especially his mother completely shattered. I applaud Steel's strength in refusing to let his passing not have a greater purpose, that being to educate the world that mental illness is not only prevalent, but nondiscriminatory in those it takes hold of. Modern science is there to help (regardless of what Tom Cruise says)and Nick's memory lives on for those who knew him, and those who never did, but wish they had the opportunity.
In sum, this book is HIGHLY recommended-- this coming from a man who never once picked up one piece of Steel's fiction. I may not buy her many novels that always reach the the best-seller lists, but if there is ever any future material about Nick's Bright Light, I will certainly be reading!
It seems Steele wrote this book more to keep his beloved son's memory alive than anything else. At times, while reading this book I felt a bit mentally drained. Despite the depressing story of Nick's life, I learned a great deal about what it means to cope with a loved one afflicted with a serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder. This is a sad, frustrating, hopeless, at times hopeful and happy story filled with personal sacrifice. It's an emotional roller coaster much like Nick's short life filled with the best and worst experiences.
Telling story about a manic depressive's life. Hard to read parts of his struggle with suicide attempts and final success. Can be especially difficult if you manic depressive.
This book tells the story of a mother advocating for her son, a child suffering from mental illness, the life they all lead and the pain of his death.
My son is bipolar. I am thankful he was dx at an early age. I ache as I read what this famiily and child went through. It is a tough read, but one I feel is VERY important for every parent of a mentally ill child.
Excellent book. My oldest son was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and it helped me understand what some others go through with this horrific disease. I am lucky that my son was diagnosed at such an early age and is now doing great!!