Friday 1 September 2017

Review: Chase The Rainbow by Poorna Bell

Punk rocker, bird nerd and book lover Rob Bell had a full, happy life. He had a loving wife, a big-bottomed dog named Daisy and a career as a respected science journalist. But beneath the carefully cultivated air of machoism and the need to help other people, he struggled with mental health and a drug addiction that began as a means to self-medicate his illness. In 2015, he ended his life in New Zealand on a winter’s night. 

But what happened? How did a middle-class Catholic boy from the suburbs, who had an ocean of people who loved him, and a brain the size of a planet, end up dying alone by his own hand? How did it get to this point?  

In the search to find out about the man she loved, and how he arrived at that desperate, dark moment, Poorna Bell, Executive Editor of The Huffington Post UK, went on a journey spanning New Zealand, India and England to discover more about him.

A month after his death, she shared her personal tragedy in an open letter to Rob on the site, which went on to be read by hundreds of thousands of people across the world. This is Poorna’s story, not only of how she met the man of her dreams and fell in love, but also Rob’s story and how he suffered with depression since childhood and had secretly been battling addiction as a means to cope with the illness.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 and a staggering 1 in 4 of us will experience mental illness disease at some point in our lives, but the stigma surrounding mental health means that millions still suffer in silence.

Chase the Rainbow is an affecting, poetic, and deeply personal journey which teaches to seek hope and happiness, even in the most tragic of circumstances. Shattering the stigma surrounding depression and suicide, Poorna Bell challenges us talk about what we most fear, and to better understand the personal struggles of those closest to us.

Review: This really is, as the tagline says, a life-changing book! I was lucky enough to read this book with a friend so that we could discuss what we were reading and how we were feeling as the book went on, I would really recommend reading this book with a friend or as a group so that you can discuss your feelings because you are going to have a lot of them. 

First of all, this book is beautifully written and I loved the structure of it. Obviously Poorna is a journalist and so the things she wanted to find out and the things she wanted to share dug really deep but also, were beautifully put. This is a book about someone who struggled with depression and ultimately takes their life, but no part of this book felt depressing or made me feel down and I think that this is down to the way the book is structured and the writing that went into it. The book features two parts, Poorna telling her story of her relationship with Rob and then parts where she is in New Zealand stepping along that path that he took, meeting his family and the feelings that she experiences there. Her own story, told in the first person almost feels like a novel rather than a memoir because of the beautiful writing. 

As I have mentioned above, the issues dealt with in this book are obviously serious issues, but they are issues that a lot of people don't want to and don't talk about and so sometimes when we get a book like this, it can feel like these issues are being forced upon us and can be a little heavy to read but this book is not like that. This writer combines her own personal experiences with her own research and the accounts she has from speaking to others. She is honest with us but not graphic, she is frank but not overly so. I really loved the way the issues surrounding mental health were dealt with in this book and I would urge anyone wanting to know more about these issues from a first/second hand point of view to read this book now. 

And finally this book truly was uplifting. Obviously what these people in this book went through, all of them is hear breaking and life destroying but this book is more than that. This book is about facing those issues and how to deal with them during and after the event because this is not something that can just go away. The way this writer has been brave enough to share her experience is truly insporational and I would urge all of you to pick this book up now. You won't be able to put it down and I am sure that you will feel as positive about life afterwards as I did. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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