Bel Reviews: Running Like China by Sophie Hardcastle
On August 25th 2015 a giant leap was achieved for mental health in Australia. A young lady by the name of Sophie Hardcastle pinned her heart to her sleeve and put pen to paper to give us an intimate insight into what it’s like to live through Bipolar 1 in her book Running Like China.
Joelene and I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Hachette YA Bloggers evening earlier in August. Sophie is a well spoken, intelligent woman who really has a lot to say. Not a word wasted and many lessons to teach us all. Her story is the reality for so many people regardless of age or background.
Here’s the goodreads blurb…
“Most of the time we don’t notice the darkness… not until we’re in the thick of it. It was like that for Sophie Hardcastle, as the joy she’d always known disappeared. She was constantly tired, with no energy, no motivation and no sense of enjoyment for anything. Her hours became empty. And then, the month before she turned seventeen, that emptiness filled with an intense, unbearable sadness that made her scream and tear her skin.
In this brave, bold and beautifully told memoir, Sophie lays bare her story of mental illness – of a teenage girl using drugs, alcohol and sex in an attempt to fix herself; of her family’s anguish and her loss of self. It is a courageous and hopeful story of adaptation, learning to accept and of ultimately realising that no matter how deep you have sunk, the surface is always within reach.”
If you have the guts to take the journey with Sophie please allow time for the memoir to resonate with your altered perceptions because undoubtedly it will change how you see the world. Chances are you’re either managing mental illness yourself or know someone who is; so this book will certainly make sense, make you emotional, and give hope.
Vivid is the perfect word for how Sophie writes. Even in the difficult chapters, where you feel like you should turn away from her pain and anguish, the words still leap forth and take you into the moment — like it or lump it.
Please, please make the effort to track this book down, borrow it from the library, buy it from any good book shop. There’s even an audio book for the people on the go. There is no excuse not to educate yourself and those around you.
Paperback, 273 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Hachette Australia
Here’s Sophie on the youtube channel Where I Write talking about just that and reading the Prologue to the book.