The Breakdown Lane, book I think we'd all like

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Marta608, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    The Breakdown Lane is by Jacquelyn Mitchard who has written several of the books I've liked, The Deep End of the Ocean and A Theory of Relativity were two of them. This one is about a woman, an advice columnist with two children who finds she has MS. Then her husband leaves her. Of course, like all I've read of Mitchard, it's beautifully written.
    She wonderfully protrays how it is to feel so helpless in the face of such a disesase after being so self-contained. She also writes with maddening clarity about how her daughter thinks she's just not trying to be well and the feelings she has about that. Can we relate??

    I am AMAZED at the similarities between MS and CFS/FM. Certainly they will be found to have similarities in origin and/or treatment. I remember when MS was thought to be psychological so, in time, perhaps we too will be exhonerated.

    Good book. I'm half-way through so I can't tell you if it has any kind of happy ending or not. I hope so.

    Marta
    [This Message was Edited on 06/17/2006]
  2. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I hadn't heard of Mitchard, but I have heard of
    Deep End of the Ocean and A Theory of Relativity.
    Let us know how it ends.

    Kholmes
  3. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Well now, should I do that? lol What if someone wants to read it?

    I'll hold off a bit, I think, but if you're a reader, you'll like this book.

    Marta
  4. musikmaker

    musikmaker New Member

    I am thinking I will go out to amazon and order the book. If you tell us the ending I know I will read your post.
  5. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I think you'll appreciate the book a lot so I want to encourage everyone to read it. It not only says so much about what a person with a life-altering illness goes through (that would be us) but it also is enormously insightful from a family prospective. I am in awe of Mitchard's research and compassion, not to mention her writing skills. I must wonder if she or a family member has MS or something close to it.

    This book is a keeper! Maybe it could be a book club selection.

    Marta
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Is this book by chance biographical? Could the author have MS?

    Love, Mikie
  7. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    We must have been writing at the same time, Mikie. As I said, I can't imagine that anyone could write so sensitively about this subject without some personal experience with it. But, this is what makes a very good writer, is it not?

    There is also a book called The Fatigue Artist. I read it years ago and don't remember the author's name but it deals with CFS very sensitively. I tried at the time to write the author but couldn't find a viable address. My email to the publisher received no response. Mitchard does have an email address and I'll write her and ask. Stay tuned. Sometimes it takes awhile to hear back.

    Marta
    [This Message was Edited on 06/17/2006]

    PS. I'm having technical difficulties emailing J. Mitchard but plucked this from her bio to share with you:

    She also travels to promote awareness of colorectal cancer, which took the life of her first husband, award-winning reporter Dan Allegretti, in 1993, and of multiple sclerosis, which interferes in the life of her gallant best friend from childhood. Her favorite color is periwinkle blue; her favorite holiday is Halloween; her favorite flower is freesia; her favorite word is "smite," and her second favorite is "Massachusetts"; her lucky number is 11. Her favorite place on earth is just west of Florence, where she does not plan on buying a house. Her pet peeves are rude merchants, restaurants with only one high chair and signs that feature family names with an apostrophe "S." Her truest ambition is to appear on even one episode of "Law and Order," in any role, except, preferably, that of a murder victim found by earth-moving equipment in a landfill.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/17/2006]
  8. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    This book is really good and so relevant to our illness.
  9. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I feel silly here by myself in this post, getting all excited about a book but I finished it and it is a winner.

    It's not War and Peace but I can no longer read the likes of that.

    By the way, she has one of the best author websites I've ever seen.

    Marta
  10. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Why don't you suggest it for our book club?
    You might have seen that our book this month was Nicholas Sparks's TRUE BELIEVER.
    I've put THE BREAKDOWN LANE on hold at our local library.
    Kholmes
    [This Message was Edited on 06/18/2006]
  11. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    Hey, this sounds great - one of the few novels around that actually shows a family dealing with a chronic illness like ours.

    I read a terrific review of it on Bookreporter.com, a reader's site that I love.

    My main worry is that the feeble self-absorbed husband/father character will annoy me so much that I may throw the book across the room ;)

    I like books about interesting characters faced with adversity who actually come up with creative ways to deal with things.

    I read Deep End of the Ocean and cried and cried. This one of hers sounds less emotionally distressing, so I've got it on my library reserve list now.

    Thanks, Marta :)

    Roseblossom
  12. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I wondered the same thing but while the rotter is one of the main characters around which the book's action revolves, he's not the strongest character in the book. The more compelling character is her son.

    I'll be very interested in what you think of it.

    Good reading to you!

    Marta
  13. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    I just put Fatigue Artist by Lynne Sharon Schwartz on my hold list too - it sounds great!

    Roseblossom
  14. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    Yes, the son sounds neat. He has trouble reading, but is a good writer - and he takes over writing the advice column? lol, can't wait to see how they do it :) The youngest daughter is one I look forward to getting to know, also.

    I like the sound of the humor in the book.

    What other gems have you read lately? I just finished reading Hatbox Baby by Carrie Brown...wonderful!

    Roseblossom
  15. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Yes! Lynne Sharon Swartz! That's the one. I barely remember it now but I recall being impressed with anyone who could write about this illness. She, the character, manages to do a lot more than I do though.

    I keep a To Read list and I've added Hatbox Baby to it. Thank you! Have you read Sue Monk Kidd's The Mermaid Chair? And, of course, I keep plugging Marley & Me for almost everyone, as well as a sweet little book called Letters to Sam by Daniel Gottlieb.

    I hope you enjoy The Breakdown Lane. The youngest daughter doesn't figure in the story as much as the oldest daughter. Still, the primary characters are Gabe, the oldest son who is very LD and brilliant, and Julieanne, the mother with MS.

    Lovely!

    Marta