Monday 9 July 2018

Review ~ Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester

The Story Plant
June 2018

My thanks to the author for my e-copy of this book

What's it all about..

One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes could contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.

My thoughts about it..

Once again the author gets right into the heart of family life with this sensitive portrayal of the impact of living with someone who is traumatized by the effects of PTSD. 

Mac Anderson has everything he could possibly wish for, a beautiful wife, three healthy children and a prosperous lifestyle; all that is good in life seems to be his for the taking. However, this starts to change when he unexpectedly experiences violent panic attacks which distort his perception and make his and his family’s, life intolerable. What then follows is a story of how an ordered and peaceful life can suddenly change so much, and as Mac spirals into chaos, life for his wife and his children, will never be the same again.

The author writes about family life so thoughtfully that there is never a moment when the whole thing doesn't feel absolutely authentic. The wider effect, that of coping with PTSD, is handled sensitively and well, and yet, at the same time it allows a glimpse into the dreadful ramifications that this debilitating disorder can have on family life and structure. Mac's terror and bewilderment is palpable and as he struggles to make sense of what's happening to him so his family sink into utter despair as they too struggle to cope with his irascible mood swings.

Three Shoeboxes makes for emotional reading. The strength of the writing and the author’s obvious comprehensive research into PTSD comes across in the sensitive way he describes Mac’s decline. That the writing doesn’t shy away from showing just how devastating an effect this has on family life is to the writer’s credit. And yet, in the midst of chaos come hope and Three Shoeboxes demonstrates just how important is the love of  good a family and supportive friends.

I’ve read several novels by this talented author and I think that Three Shoeboxes is the strongest of his stories to date.

More about the author can be found on his website

Follow on Twitter @authorSteveM

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