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A Prison of Lies: A Journey Through Madness - Robert Thomas Doran

This book throws you into the world of mental illness showing how painful events and memories can build up inside of you and can spiral completely out of control. The book can be read by people who have never suffered mental health issues and want to take a peak inside to try and understand and also by those who have already suffered similar difficulties, which in turn may bring this usually unspoken subject to light.


The author's own mental illness has been developed into this fully detailed story, full of raw emotion, following a young man named Tom through his development from a youth into a grown man. Completely unsupported, both mentally and physically, by his peers who are such a domineering factor, they seemed more concerned about what other people thought than to really help him through such a tough hormonal time where he needed guidance with so many questions and feelings. He struggles on isolated, feeling that he is unworthy, constantly doubting himself, not fitting in, with resentment, confusion and anger building within him.


Tom finally meets a girl called Mary, who seems to accept him and he feels accepted by her family and you almost feel relief for him until the he realizes that things are not what they first appear to be, leaving him in the end completely at a loss. more confused and feeling like he is being dangled from a very long piece of string. The family may think they are trying to do the right thing by their daughter Mary but not realizing the long lasting effect it would have on Tom. The silent, gradual build up of hatred within himself and for those around him slowly gets worse.


To get a real sense of what the book is about in certain parts the author uses strong and very descriptive language which requires an open mind. The thoughts, dark fantasies and dreams in the book may offend some readers but as this is a true account of mental illness I feel that this reinforces the story to the reader.


I feel that the author has been very courageous in putting pen to paper on such a difficult subject. The author's well written descriptive story will bring out a number of emotions as you read it including frustration, anger and there were a couple of times I literally wanted to throw the book at the wall as the author was describing events and the repetitive destructive cycle Tom was in, growing stronger with each thought.


The book makes you rethink how you talk and treat others, how a simple look at the wrong time or a rushed reply to someone may be portrayed incorrectly. It especially made me think about my two boys and how they take so much on board at such a young age and how it may affect them in future years.

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