Caitlyn Shaw has it all. Surrounded by loving friends and family, she is excited to begin her training to become a primary school teacher. Her dream job, one which she’s been working steadily towards her whole life.
However in 2008 things start to go wrong. After suffering a traumatic event, Caitlyn’s idyllic life is shattered. She finds herself spiralling into an abyss of mental terror and despair which manifests as a psychotic break. Caitlyn is subsequently hospitalised in a psychiatric unit and her future no longer appears so rosy.
Desperately ill, she refuses to believe there is anything wrong with her and rebels against the hospital staff. A battle of wills ensues, as she begins her fight back to sanity, challenging the many stigmas that blight people with this misunderstood condition.
Can Caitlyn drag herself back from the brink to fulfil her dreams? Find out in one woman’s harrowing journey.
Come and walk for a while with The Beautiful Ones
Almost every one of the books I have read recently has made me cry and The Beautiful Ones is no exception.
While I have considerable experience of mental illness due to my mum’s chronic anxiety and agoraphobia, I have never known anyone suffering from psychosis. It’s a very hard condition to understand and I can’t pretend that I do. Caitlyn’s paranoia that people are following her and watching her, while she is trying to make her family believe that it’s real is hard to read. It’s hard for her father too who is slightly less patient than her mother and sisters.
Caitlyn’s condition starts to spiral into further psychosis and she becomes a danger to herself as she goes to the police saying that her poor neighbour is stalking her, that her university lecturers know secrets about her and that TV and radio stations are transmitting messages telling her what to do.
I’ve read books where someone is accused of being paranoid when in fact it’s all true and they are trying to discredit the main character in some way. But that is not what this is. Caitlyn’s delusions are not real and she is soon getting out of control.
When she is finally hospitalised, she still thinks her imaginings are real and that everyone is out to get her. She refuses to admit that she is ill and won’t take the medication that would help her.
This is not an easy book to read. It’s quite short and I read it in two sittings. In Caitlyn’s own words; ‘…sometimes too much has happened to build bridges, and for Caitlyn Shaw there isn’t going to be a fairy-tale ending.’ It’s very sad but probably more realistic. This is not chick-lit romance – this is an insightful look into serious mental illness.
Many thanks to @zooloo2008 for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.
About the Author in her own words
“Hello I’m Julia Sutton, born and raised in Wolverhampton, I love it so much I still live here. 😊 I’m fifty at the end of May and have been married for 24 years with two grown up children.
“I’ve had a variety of careers – I started out as a sales assistant in a newsagents and have worked as a secretary, a teaching assistant and most recently a lunchtime supervisor in a primary school. I’m now happily retired but am studying for a Masters in Creative Writing. I’m also a part time author who has written and published 9 adult fiction novels.
“I’m an avid reader who also loves drawing, walking, listening to music and spending time with my family and friends.”
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beautiful-Ones-Stunningly-haunting-fiction-ebook/dp/B09VCXCP98/
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Ones-Stunningly-haunting-fiction-ebook/dp/B09VCXCP98