Book Review: January First: A Child’s Descent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her, By Michael Schofield

January First - COVER

I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to throw my book across the room at certain parts! January First is a memoir written from the perspective of a Father with a schizophrenic daughter. I felt so close to her, and her family as I read their story. It was hard for me to finish the book, knowing there was no resolution, and January will continue to live her life this way, haunted by her mental illness.

Book  January First
Some things annoyed me greatly. For starters, Michael Schofield has a tendency to act as a martyr. He treats his wife as if she were never involved with January’s care, even though she is present all along. He gets aggravated with his wife for not being able to “handle” January, as she is beating the crap out of her infant brother, meanwhile he takes her out with their dog and she turns her anger on the dog and HE can’t handle it himself! So why is it hard for him to understand why his wife can’t control her ALL DAY LONG, when he can’t himself for a brief walk around the school?
I greatly feel for this family, and especially for January. I cannot fathom having a mental illness that caused me to hallucinate 95% of the time, or to have a child afflicted with something so horrible. I try not to judge this family as I have no clue what it would really be like to be in their shoes. With that being said, it was nice to have a brief look into their window, and I think it was courageous for Michael Schofield to let us into their world.
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