Neil Kapoor, 23, is desperate to create a life beyond the shadow of his mother’s schizophrenia. Years of successive relapses and rehabilitations have forced his father into the role of caretaker and Neil into that of silent witness. But there is no light within this joyless ritual, and any hope for the future rests on finding an exit.
Amidst her latest breakdown, Neil attends drama school in pursuit of a role that might better express the truth of who he is. What started as a desperate gambit becomes the fragile threads of a new life. A relationship blooms with Emily, and each finds strength – and demons – in the other. New friendships with Quincy and Tim grow close and complex. But the emotional remove needed to keep these two lives separate destabilizes the family. Neil’s father, the one constant in the chaos, buckles under the pressure. Enlisting the aid of an Aunt with means and questionable motives, Neil plies ever-greater deceptions to keep the darkness at bay. But this time there will be no going back. As his mother falls to terrifying depths a decision must be made: family or freedom?
In this powerful fiction debut, acclaimed journalist Anish Majumdar shines a much-needed light into the journey of those coping with serious mental disorders and the loved ones who walk alongside them. Incisive and filled with moments of strange beauty, it marks the arrival of a unique voice in American letters.
[Synopsis and image via Goodreads]
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Anish Majumdar in his debut novel, The Isolation Door, stole my reader’s heart the moment I began to read his words. Majumdar has a writing style that is both lyrical and atmospheric from the perspective of great storytelling.
Within the pages of this book, Majumdar tells a fictional story of a young man dealing with immense problems at home, problems which are not of his doing nor his solving, and yet Neil feels compelled to try to fix everything that has gone wrong. As I read along, Majumdar wrote so realistically as to cause me to forget these were not real people living next door nor was this a story about real circumstances. That is great writing!
Do not despair for Neil, however, he finds love and is able to float for a time between the two lives he creates for himself. On the one hand, his parents struggle with his mother’s mental health issues and on the other hand, Emily, someone willing to accept him for who is. And yet a time comes for decisions. A beautiful love story is centered in Neil’s struggle with his family’s life journey filled with disappointments and cruelties and his desire, like so many of us, to be set free from that life.
If you are fond of reading a book which presents characters so real you believe the struggles in the book’s pages to also be real, coupled with a beautiful love story which gives hope to those who struggle in similar ways on life’s journey, then The Isolation Door is for your shelf! Pick it up soon and enjoy Majumdar’s beautiful writing.
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Listen to Anish Majumdar talk about the circumstances in his own family and life which led him to write The Isolation Door:
Meet the Author:
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- File Size: 577 KB
- Print Length: 276 pages
- Publisher: Ravana Press; 1 edition (January 25, 2014)
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00I29CL8A
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Isolation Door from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.