Thursday, December 1, 2011

Review and Announcement: Half in Love by Linda Gray Sexton

Title: Half in Love
Author: Linda Gray Sexton
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publish Date: September 14, 2010
Source: Received a copy from the PR. This did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You like a good memoir.
  • You like reading about tough subjects.
What's the Story?:

From "Despite experiencing the agony of witnessing her mother’s multiple suicide attempts, the last of which was successful, Linda Gray Sexton found herself gripped by the same strong tentacles of mental anguish. Falling into the familiar grooves of her mother’s relentless depression, Sexton tries once, twice, three times to kill herself—even though she is a daughter, sister, wife, and most importantly, a mother.

Sexton unsparingly describes her struggle to escape the magnetism of her mother and the undertow of depression that engulfed her life. Her powerful prose drags readers into her imperviously dark mental state. It conveys her urgent need to alleviate the internal pain, a need that becomes compulsive and considers no one. But unlike her mother, hers is a story of triumph. Through the help of family, therapy, and medicine, Sexton confronted deep-seated issues, outlived her mother, and curbed the haunting cycle of suicide she once seemed destined to inherit."

My Two Cents:

I've unfortunately had to watch some very close people to me struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. It's incredibly scary and something that I wish that they never had to go through. These things are not only hard for those going through depression or fighting suicidal thoughts; it's also difficult for the loved ones surrounding that person who only wish they could help or change things for the people that they loved. From personal experience, you feel incredibly lost.

Depression and suicide are definitely heavy topics but I truly believe that they are both topics that really need to be discussed more openly. Hiding doesn't do much to change the situation for those struggling with depression. And that is why I'm always happy to see books like Ms. Sexton's come along.  I can't recall reading a book whose author covered depression and suicide in such an open way. Definitely an important read!

Ms. Sexton is incredibly open in her struggle with severe depression and suicide attempts. As the daughter of Anne Sexton, the famous poet who was the victim of suicide, Ms. Sexton is struggling both with her own thoughts and the legacy of suicide. This book is indeed heavy but I think it's so good to be able to read someone who is so upfront with what they went through and how they were able to move forward. It's also written in such a raw, real way that you very easily find yourself pulled into Linda's story.

The end is hopeful in a way. This book is so brave and I really think that it has a good message and could definitely help those dealing with depression and suicide themselves or through their loved ones. Sexton has a strong plan to follow and I found myself rooting for her all the way!

Announcement of Half in Love Contest:

In celebration of the paperback release of Half In Love (Counterpoint/January 2012), Linda Gray Sexton will be sponsoring a giveaway contest of ten books. Starting Monday, December 5th, out of the first thirty people who join the reader board on her website ( to share their stories, thoughts, experiences or questions on depression, suicide, grief, loss and love, ten will be randomly selected to receive a signed copy of the book.  (It can be personalized if the winner wishes.) It is an opportunity to share in a supportive community of those have opened their world and themselves as a way of finding both illumination and healing, and to connect with Linda Gray Sexton on her very personal and brave journey in Half in Love.

For more info, you can visit Linda at her website !


  1. Wow, this sounds like a really intense book. I'm not sure I could handle it at the moment, but am glad to hear that the ending is hopeful :)

  2. @Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind When you're in the mood for an intense read, you should still keep this one in mind!


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