Thursday, September 13, 2012

BRIGID MARLIN | New Book–"A Meaning for Danny"

Cover of "A Meaning for Danny".
Hilda van Stockum's gift for writing keeps on giving. Her daughter Brigid has now joined her older sister Olga in writing her memoirs. Olga's book is about her 60 years' work educating girls in Africa (you can order "To Africa with a Dream" from Amazon).

Brigid's book is focused on the first-born of her three sons, Danny. It is called "A Meaning for Danny" and it is about the difficulties of identifying mental illness in a child and determining what can be done.

The book is well written and entertaining. Brigid can't help writing down the moments of humor as well as the moments of depression in her long struggle to understand the nature and implications's of Danny's illness. The comic relief is crucial for keeping the reader going. Otherwise the series of unexpected discouraging events would have been too much for the parents. Each discouraging event forcing the parents to lower their expectations for Danny.

Ultimately, the unsolvable problem that Danny had was a combination of epilepsy and autism (what might be called today Asperger's Disease). Each could be treated by drugs, but what worked for one exacerbated the other. The desperation that this realization caused in the boy's parents intensified as more information was revealed. Yet this too passed, and the book ends on a philosophical note that should provide some comfort to many parents of children with mental illness.

I can't imagine the book not being helpful for anyone with a child in the family suffering from mental illness. I have sent a copy to the Executive Directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Arlington, VA and the state chapter in Albany, NY. They both have a lending library that utilizes the U.S. mail. The book can be purchased for less than $12 from Amazon.

This blog is sponsored by Boissevain Books, which publishes books by Hilda van Stockum and her daughter Brigid Marlin. To buy a book, go to

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