This book is also available as an ebook.
Neil Kapoor, 23, is desperate to create a life beyond the shadow of his mother’s schizophrenia. Years of successive relapses and rehabilitation’s 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, 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.
My take on this book:
Mental illness is something that twenty-three year old Neil Kapoor has dealt with in his family for years. His mother problems aren't easy to deal with, especially when his dad doesn't give her the medicine she needs.Things go from bad to worse and she is even forcibly committed several times. Neil's hope of escape is attending theatre school,and it's his aunt who financially helps him attain that goal. As Neil starts school and makes new friends, he decides to keep his home life hidden. When things go from bad to worse though Neil will have to choose whether to choose his new found freedom, or be drawn back onto his dysfunctional family.
A richly woven story that easily allows the reader to understand the complexities that families deal with when faced with mental illness. Written with such clarity and detail the author easily pulled me in, I found myself drawn into the story of Neil's mother and the mental illness that she dealt with. It was very interesting to see things thru the eyes of not only Neil but his mother as well. It was so easy to feel empathy for these characters. I could easily imagine Neil stepping out hoping to find his way. The friendships he makes in school adds another layer to an already complex story. The author's storytelling gives this fiction tale a very authentic feel. A story about family that will pull you in and keep you thinking about the characters long after the final page. Anyone who enjoys reading a smoothly written, richly told story that revolves around family and the chaos that mental illness can reek on family life will certainly find this a compelling read!
About Anish Majumdar
As a child growing up in Montreal, Canada, Anish Majumdar’s first creative writing lessons came courtesy of his mother, a former English teacher. Witnessing her struggle with schizophrenia had a profound impact and inspired The Isolation Door, his first novel. His non-fiction work, appearing in many publications, has garnered Independent Press Association Awards for Feature Writing and Investigative Journalism. His short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives with his wife, son, and a growing menagerie of pets in Rochester, NY.
Why not follow along on the TLC Blog Tour to read what others are saying about The Isolation Door.
Monday, February 3rd: Bookish Ardour
Tuesday, February 4th: Book Lust
Wednesday, February 5th: WV Stitcher
Thursday, February 6th: Books in the Burbs - Author Q&A
Friday, February 7th: Guiltless Reading
Monday, February 10th: Bound by Words
Tuesday, February 11th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, February 12th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Thursday, February 12th: Guiltless Reading Author Q&A
Thursday, February 13th: Found Between the Covers
Friday, February 14th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, February 17th: The Best Books Ever
Tuesday, February 18th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, February 19th: Reading on a Rainy Day
Thursday, February 20th: 5 Minutes for Books
Friday, February 21st: My Bookshelf
Monday, February 24th: Literally Jen