#BookReview: The Boy Between: A Mother and Son’s Journey From a World Gone Grey @MrsAmandaProwse

Hi everyone. Today, I have a book review for you from a well-known author, who I am fairly new to. Today’s book is a bit different from my usual in that it is a non-fiction read. This is a much needed book about depression, written from the standpoint of a sufferer and his family >>>


About the Book:

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

My Review:

‘Sometimes there is no solution and therefore it’s not always better to do “something”. Sometimes all I need to do is listen and be calm.’

The above quote from The Boy Between says such a lot in a few words. Both author Amanda Prowse and her son Josh Hartley co-author this book, and the narrative switches between Josh and Amanda, who each have their own chapter, and often covers the same events but from vastly different perspectives. This alone, for me, is so useful because it shows that we can each be individual and different can still co-exist and even love and respect one another … regardless of whether we understand the other person’s experience or not.

I wish I had read this book years ago. The Boy Between is such an important read with an essential message for everyone. I believe this should be recommended reading for every new university student everywhere.

The narrative is brutal and honest. While it brought tears and a lump to my throat at times, it also brought hope. Here are some lines that stood out for me in particular:

‘There aren’t many worse feelings than being lonely in a crowded room. We have never lived in a more connected world, yet loneliness is only increasing. We as a society must look at the value of these connections; a thousand Instagram followers aren’t worth as much as one person who you cancommunicate honestly and openly with, at least in my opinion.’

‘When something is broken, by definition it doesn’t work! And depression is a brain that is broken. It is an illness. A fracture. A sickness. A malaise.’

‘Their words slid from his sadness and pooled at the floor for us to slip in.’

It takes courage to write a book like this. To lay yourself bare on the pages. I can only admire such bravery and generosity. Even though the narrative covers some difficult subjects and issues, it reads smoothly and keeps the reader engaged … nay, glued to the page. Both mother and son show an innate writing talent.

The Boy Between is a book that everyone should read … sufferers, family, friends–and especially–sceptics of depression. This would make an excellent resource for Uni students and, indeed, anyone in need. It gets a resounding 5 stars from me.




NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

US … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082SWYS91/

UK … https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082SWYS91/


16 Comments on “#BookReview: The Boy Between: A Mother and Son’s Journey From a World Gone Grey @MrsAmandaProwse

  1. Wishing mother and son all the best for the future. I pray that their story will touch many and bring help to those who need it. Thanks for sharing, Harmony.

  2. That’s a tough topic. One we all need to understand better but one that’s so hard to witness. I don’t know if I have the strength to read the pain laid bare.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • It really is a tough topic. And so hard to witness let alone live through. Thanks, Staci 🙂

  3. It had to have taken a lot of courage for both Mom and son to write this book. But what a great way to work through such a devastating illness. I’d say it’s very relevant and timely. And, obviously well-written. Like this phrase: ‘Their words slid from his sadness and pooled at the floor for us to slip in.’ Wow! Thank you for sharing.

    • This book moved me on so many levels. And, yes, so brave to have written it. And what an acheivement to have written this difficult story together. Thanks, Jan 🙂

  4. Great review, Harmony. It’s a subject that needs to be dealt with, but tough to educate others on if they haven’t dealt with it.

    • Sad but true. I think it scares many people, so they opt to attempt to ignore or ridicule it. Thanks, Denise 🙂

  5. A sad book and a fascinating review, Harmony. It is difficult for those of us who don’t suffer from depression to understand this condition. It is difficult for most people to understand many mental illnesses. It has taken me years to understand my own son and his PTSD and OCD. We are finally making some progress in controlling his symptoms. The paragraph you quoted resonated with me. I think of mental illness as having your brain in a wheelchair.

    • I believe that those of us who are heavily on the empathic spectrum have a chance of understanding more. But unless we actually experience a thing, we can never truly know it.

      I wish you and your son well with all that you have come through.

      Thanks, Robbie 🙂

  6. Whoa, I just saw a review of this book on another blog. It must be a sign to me that I need to read it. I truly wish mom and son the best; they’ve been through a lot.

    • They certainly have come through a lot. I hope this book gets lots of web time. Thanks, Priscilla 🙂

  7. Great review, Harmony. The more we know about mental illness the better. Thanks for sharing this review and importantly the book itself.