Last year, I read Paper Swans which was a novel about mental illness and Now That I've Found You by Ciara Geraghty is a novel about the same topic. As it happens, I'm currently reading another novel centred around mental illness (My Heart & Other Black Holes) and I don't think this is a bad thing - all too often, it is stigmatised in society when all that's required is less stereotyping and more understanding. Hopefully, books like these will help.
Anyway, the blurb for Now That I've Found You reads as follows:
"Vinnie is a taxi driver and single dad. Since his wife left home, he's been struggling to cope with his seven-year-old son who has wet the bed every night for over a year, and his teenage daughter who keeps getting into trouble at school.
Ellen is recovering from a trauma of her own. She has been left mentally and physically scarred after a car accident, and is terrified to get behind the wheel of a car again. Every week she is driven to her physio appointment by Vinnie, a man she knows little about, but who is about to change her life forever..."
The first thing that caught my eye about this book was the design and cover - the pink and cream stand out nicely against the dark midnight blue/teal hue and it's just very, very pretty. It is also a longer book than some others I've read recently - at 400 pages, it did seem like a mammoth of a novel.
However, it's one of those books that slowly draw you in and make you want to read more and more of. The chapters are short so it's easy to pick up and put down if you have a busy lifestyle. I did enjoy this book because it is very well written - the characters are likeable and relatable as the events that happen to them could actually happen to any one of us. The fact that each chapter alternated between Ellen and Vinnie meant that information about each of them were drip-fed and the suspense was kept by the short chapters.
Overall, I give this book 7.5/10 - I definitely enjoyed reading it and none of the chapters read like wasted space as sometimes, a book this long can can have the odd chapter that probably didn't need to be there. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read something a bit different in that, it isn't your typical love story and it covers a lot of 'stigmatised' issues in a realistic and respectful manner.