The Boy Between #BlogTour by @MrsAmandaProwse and Josiah Hartley @BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

Earlier this year, I had the honour of reading an ARC of a very special book. Special because it is written by one of my favourite authors, Amanda Prowse, and her son, Josiah Hartley.

The biggest difference between this book and the numerous others Amanda has authored, is that her previous works were fiction. This is about reality.

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

Can I just say… I was hugely affected by this book. Honestly, I think it should be compulsory reading for all parents, especially at the moment, with the effects of the Pandemic upon the minds of our youngsters.

Now, let me share my ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review!

The Boy Between is a gut-wrenching memoir delving into the depths of depression, written by mother and son duo; award-winning contemporary novelist, Amanda Prowse, and her beloved son, Josh Hartley.

Imagine being that child, for whom nothing seemed to come easy. Perceptions and thoughts as a young person, differing from others all the time. Then finding out you were dyslexic and overcoming your learning difficulties to become a top student.

The world is literally at your feet. Universities of your choice sending offers, fantastic predicted grades.

Suddenly, a fog enters your mind. Nothing appears to stay in your brain. An overwhelming exhaustion hits. Nothing is more important that getting to that bed.

Now, flip the coin and imagine being the mother of that child for whom life has been quite tough. Finally, he’s got his break. He’s doing so well. You only want what is best for your boy.

Then a change comes over him. Interest in his work dwindles. He doesn’t want to really talk or interact. A call from his tutor confirms that there may be an issue.

What no one seems to realise is this is the time that child has begun to descend into the dark hole that is depression.

I was in tears, reading so many sections of this book.

Josh’s openness and honesty buried deep inside me, I could feel the darkness he was spiralling into.

Amanda’s recount of the same days, as a mother, who would never want anything negative to happen to her son, was just as heart-breaking. The realisation that her child was suffering from an illness, which she would not be able to heal easily, was hard to read, but so well written.

I applaud both Josh and Amanda for tackling an issue that is oft swept under the carpet. Depression can creep up on anyone. It doesn’t matter where you are from, what your background is. But it is serious. Serious enough that people take their own lives when they can’t take it anymore.

I can’t recommend this book enough.

Available from 1st November from all good book retailers.

About the authors:

Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty five novels and seven novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.  Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’ and ‘The Things I Know’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Praise for Amanda Prowse:

‘A powerful and emotional work of fiction’ – Piers Morgan

‘Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill’ – Daily Mail

‘Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues’ – Hello!

‘A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read’ – The Irish Sun

‘You’ll fall in love with this…’ – Cosmopolitan

‘Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.’ – Heat

‘Magical’ – Now magazine

A keen environmentalist and animal lover, Josiah (Josh) Hartley lives in a remote farmhouse in the West Country with his two idle and arrogant French Bulldogs, Dottie and Beau. Happiest following the music scene in Bristol, at a festival or watching rugby with his mates, Josh enjoys the outdoor life and often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down.

After a stint at the University of Southampton, another at the University of Bristol and one planned suicide, Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Between carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It is a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope – the proof being that Josh is still here and excited about what comes next. He’s ready to catch any opportunity that life throws his way; quite a thing for someone who only a few years ago was living in a world gone grey, ready to disappear from the face of the earth…

My interactive peeps!

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