Thursday, April 18, 2019

RX by Rachel Lindsay

4 Star

In her early twenties in New York City, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Rachel Lindsay takes a job in advertising in order to secure healthcare coverage for her treatment. But work takes a strange turn when she is promoted onto the Pfizer account and suddenly finds herself on the other side of the curtain, developing ads for an antidepressant drug. She is the audience of the work she's been pouring over and it highlights just how unhappy and trapped she feels, stuck in an endless cycle of treatment, insurance and medication. Overwhelmed by the stress of her professional life and the self-scrutiny it inspires, she begins to destabilize and while in the midst of a crushing job search, her mania takes hold. Her altered mindset yields a simple solution: to quit her job and pursue life as an artist, an identity she had abandoned in exchange for medical treatment. When her parents intervene, she finds herself hospitalized against her will, and stripped of the control she felt she had finally reclaimed. Over the course of her two weeks in the ward, she struggles in the midst of doctors, nurses, patients and endless rules to find a path out of the hospital and this cycle of treatment. One where she can live the life she wants, finding freedom and autonomy, without sacrificing her dreams in order to stay well. 

Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star

I don't often read memoirs, nor do I really read graphic novels. This book has been hanging around on my side table for a couple months now, waiting for me to pick it up. For some reason it spoke to me, possibly because the author now lives in Burlington,Vermont, which is one of my favorite places.

It didn't take me very long to get through it, even with the time I stopped to peruse the drawings in more detail. I felt compelled to slow down and take my time with this book, probably partly because the art spoke to me on it's own but also partly because of the subject matter.

Mental illness is something I'm not very comfortable with, probably because I don't feel like I know enough about it but also because I know everyone's experience is, or can be, vastly different. I felt like I didn't understand where the author was coming from at times with her reactions but I also don't suffer from her disease and I also don't have to worry about health care coverage.

So this book opened my eyes about what this type of experience could be like and what challenges a person may go through. I really appreciated her candor and bravery in sharing something so very personal as it was most probably very difficult to do.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for our review copy.   All opinions are our own.

Connect with Rachel Lindsay:
Website      Goodreads    Twitter

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