Book Review: Brain on Fire

Brain on Fire : My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

This is one of those non-fiction books that I tell myself I'm going to read a chapter or two, and then go back to my *other* book (you know, that fiction one over there...), but then I start reading...and reading...and can't stop reading...

This was a great, absorbing memoir, y'all.

Susannah is the typical chick lit heroine (if this was a fiction novel with a shiny pink cover) - living in New York City, has a dream job as a journalist, great boyfriend, good family...

And then one day, she starts to quietly go out of her mind. And no one can seem to figure out what's wrong. She loses a month of her life in which she truly can't remember what happened, while doctors frantically search to find out what's causing her descent into madness (and no, it isn't psychological, it's medical, which makes it MORE harrowing, somehow)! Luckily, she has supportive parents and her boyfriend stays by her side, convincing doctors that this isn't the real Susannah, that she's trapped in there somewhere...

I love a good memoir, and this one is a cracking one - fast-paced, snappy prose and dialogue, a medical mystery combined with emotional drama, and a great narrator and a bit of a mystery all rolled into one. I really enjoyed this memoir, and ended up reading it pretty much start to finish with no breaks until I got to the end - it was that satisfying to read!

I can't recommend this enough - I even pushed it into the hands of my friend Nat with instructions to read.this.now! Great memoir!

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