By: Rachael Siddoway
Publisher: The Gap Press
Publication Date: September 2021
ISBN #: 9781733619448
Reviewed by Diane Lunsford
Review Date: January 1, 2022
Rachael Siddoway tackles a ‘...labor of love...’ in An Impossible Wife, Book 2 in her 4-book "Impossible Series."
On the heels of her collaboration with her mother Sonja Wasden in penning the first book in this series (An Impossible Life), Rachael Siddoway embarks on her next writing journey with her father, Mitch Wasden. An Impossible Wife is Mitch Wasden’s stage to share his experiences of living with a wife with bipolar disorder.
Rachael opens this story with her Author’s Note and a lamentation of how her father is ‘…an extremely private person and getting him to share his deepest feelings was no easy task...’ when it came to telling his story and experiences. To further anchor this read, Ms. Siddoway shares a beautiful passage by Oriah ‘Mountain Dreamer’ House from her book The Invitation: “It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It does not interest me to know who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back."
Throughout this book, Ms. Siddoway paints countless scenes through brilliant word placement of not only the fight Sonja was engaging in every day, but the survival Mitch was desperate to maintain not only for his self-preservation, but to protect his children from permanent scars because of Sonja’s mental illness. There are countless moments throughout this book where Ms. Siddoway sheds incredible light on the egregious depths of bipolar disorder and the obvious signs that are deeply buried to the lay person while at the same time blatantly obvious to the trained clinician. Ms. Siddoway not only captured the essence of the deep-seeded love she has for her father (and mother) but portrays exceptional respect in how she has authored this book and consistently put her father in the forefront to tell the story of how he lived it. There is a light at the end of the perilous tunnel this entire family traveled, but the true light the reader sees clearly at the end of this story is the depths of love and commitment Mitch Wasden has for his wife and children. There is also a beautiful nuance of faith that resonates throughout this entire read and I applaud Ms. Siddoway for making a conscious effort to shine a light on it.
Quill says: An Impossible Wife is a horrific walk through a valley of pain as much as it is a tale of conviction and commitment to reach the light at the end of the pain.
For more information on An Impossible Wife: Why He Stayed: A True Story of Love, Marriage, and Mental Illness (The Impossible Series Book 2), please visit the authors' website at: www.animpossiblelife.com