Nineteen-year-old Matthew is writing the story of his life and that of his older brother, Simon, who had Down syndrome. Simon, Matthew writes, had a beautiful smiley face like the moon. But thinking about the past is like digging up graves, for Simon died in an accident when he was 11, and Matthew, 10 years later, still blames himself for his brother’s death. Although the moon that was Simon’s face now isn’t, Matthew continues to hear his voice where he is being kept in an acute psychiatric ward. For Matthew is schizophrenic. Mental illness turns people inwards, he writes. Will writing about what he finds there offer him healing and relief from his guilt? British first-novelist Filer is a mental-health nurse who, having worked as a researcher on inpatient psychiatric wards, writes with authority and sympathy about schizophrenia and Matthew’s life as both inpatient and outpatient. The story Filer tells is deeply affecting and insightful in its account of mental illness. And Matthew is a character the reader won’t soon forgetThe book has received starred reviews from Library Journal and Shelf Awareness.
Labels: 2014, Costa, debut, fiction, Nathan Filer, The Shock of the Fall, Where the Moon Isnt