Brutal honesty about mental illness

2010-10-06 00:00

A BRUTALLY honest, laconic portrayal of Sakoschek’s fall into the abyss of the depressed after her house burns down, this memoir vacillates between interesting, disturbing and completely tedious.

After Sakoschek has spent most of her time on the “shitty couch” after her house burnt down, her close companions become worried and suggest that she sees someone. Out of guilt she reluctantly agrees and ends up tossed from shrink to healer to shrink until she finds herself in a “loony-bin”.

Being a professional woman, Sakoschek is initially unable to handle this lack of control and manhandling by the system, but gives in when she finds that there is no other way out. She meets a colourful range of people from rehabilitating drug addicts to French legionnaires, who all share their life stories and help her, in one way or another, to rebuild her own life.

Despite the memoir’s interesting subject, Sakoschek’s prose contains only bone and there is nothing that goes further than her factual account of encounters, thoughts and conversations. This memoir may therefore flatline for readers who are uninterested in the bare-all approach to mental illnesses and the dry account of Sakoschek’s period of depression.

However, Ladybird is an entertaining, easy read that contains the shocking truth of how society handles people who are depressed.


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