The Boy Between: A Mother and Son’s Journey From a World Gone Grey written and self-published by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and paperback format.
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.
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of this remarkable story by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley. I am honoured to share a guest post from Amanda with you all.
Guest Post “The Boy Between” by Amanda Prowse.
Having written many books that have been described as “issue” fiction over the years, covering subjects as diverse as anorexia, alcoholism and postnatal psychosis, I am used to readers getting in touch to share their own personal stories and experiences on the topics covered. I consider it one of the greatest privileges of being a writer that someone wants to share with me such emotive messages that are often told in confidence and are nearly always heartrending. It means the world to me when the story I have written so closely mirrors someone’s real life experience. I take this as the highest compliment.
The experience of writing “The Boy Between” and the reaction from readers has been different to any other book I have written. Josh and I have been inundated with messages of love and support that have meant the absolute world. I can’t tell you what it means to open up my laptop and read words from people all over the world telling me that they are willing Josh on, offering words of advice or simply sending us love. I certainly feel that love! And trust me when I tell you it makes all the difference on the dark days. The dark days, which are getting less, but are still there.
One of the most consistent messages I receive is from mothers and others who are caring for someone with depression or whose mental health is suffering. Their words of kinship are uplifting and it really helps to know that I am not alone, as I struggle to know how best to help Josh and what to do or say that might make things better. I know it is not my fight, as Josh says in the book, “it is not your battle. It’s mine. I am the boy between…” and whilst this is the truth, that doesn’t mean I don’t take every step with him along the bumpy road to recovery.
“The Boy Between” is the book we hoped we would not have to write. I wish my son did not, like so many young men, suffer with a debilitating depression that lead to him to try and take his own life while a student at university. That said, I know it’s the book I wanted to reach for when I struggled not only to find ways to help him, but also to understand what had turned my outgoing son with the whole world at his feet into a sleeping shell of himself. And as Josh says, he might be a British boy, but sadly young male depression and suicide is a universal problem and for each young man like him suffering, there is a family like ours trying to make sense of it all. We hope this book brings comfort to the millions of people all over the world suffering from depression and those who care for them. Ours has been a tough, lonely and devastating journey, but we can finally, finally see small glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.
Knowing that there are days when my beautiful boy would rather not exist is something I will never fully understand and I will never, ever accept. I will fight until my last breath to keep Josh here. To keep Josh with me. He is my heart. It really is that simple.
Author Bio – Amanda
Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty three novels and six novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’ and ‘The Things I Know’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.
A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.
Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…
Praise for Amanda Prowse:
‘A powerful and emotional work of fiction’ – Piers Morgan
‘Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill’ – Daily Mail
‘Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues’ – Hello!
‘A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read’ – The Irish Sun
‘You’ll fall in love with this…’ – Cosmopolitan
‘Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.’ – Heat
‘Magical’ – Now magazine
Author Bio – Josiah
Josiah (Josh) Hartley is 22 and lives in an isolated farmhouse in the West Country, but close enough to Bristol to enjoy its music scene. He is an animal lover and servant to two French Bulldogs. Equally happy at a music festival or watching rugby with his mates, he likes the outdoor life and with Devon only a short drive away often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down. After two stints at The University of Southampton and The University of Bristol and one unsuccessful suicide attempt Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that has held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Who Nearly Jumped carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It’s a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope: the proof being that Josh is still here and now excited about what comes next. He is ready to catch any opportunities that life throws his way, quite a thing for someone who only 3 years ago was ready to jump from the face of the earth…