A Tale Of Madness: Running Like China By Sophie Hardcastle. #aww2016

Running Like China

Release Date: August 25th 2015.

Publisher: Hachette Australia.

Source: Free @ Hachette’s Blogger night 🙂

Challenge: Australia Women Writers Challenge. 


Most of the time we don’t notice the darkness… not until we’re in the thick of it. It was like that for Sophie Hardcastle, as the joy she’d always known disappeared. She was constantly tired, with no energy, no motivation and no sense of enjoyment for anything. Her hours became empty. And then, the month before she turned seventeen, that emptiness filled with an intense, unbearable sadness that made her scream and tear her skin.

In this brave, bold and beautifully told memoir, Sophie lays bare her story of mental illness – of a teenage girl using drugs, alcohol and sex in an attempt to fix herself; of her family’s anguish and her loss of self. It is a courageous and hopeful story of adaptation, learning to accept and of ultimately realising that no matter how deep you have sunk, the surface is always within reach.

My  Thoughts:

Running Like China is a stunning memoir of Sophie Hardcastle’s fight with bi-polar. It starts for her at 16, and as it begins, she has no idea what is happening to her. Nothing feels good, darkness is rolling in, and it feels like her skin in shrinking. She doesn’t know how to explain it to others because she doesn’t know how to explain it to herself. Depression takes hold and Sophie uses drugs, alcohol and self-harm to make herself feel better.

Sophie has opened herself right up and laid herself bare in this captivating recount. She doesn’t shy away from the ugliness of her illness, wanting to help others in the same situation, and to also help the families of those going through the same thing.
Mental illness is a disease, yet because it is a disease of the mind, it’s hard for people to see it for what it really is. As someone who struggles with anxiety, there were parts of this book I could really relate to – I know what it’s like to feel like your skin is shrinking, like you don’t fit in it. I also have family members who struggle with mental illness, and it was nice to see an inside view of what they could be going through.

This is a book that needs to be read, and not only by those going through something similar, or have family members going through something similar. Mental Illness affects so many of us, and we need to break the stigma attached to it and we should all do what we can to try and better understand it.

Running Like China was heart-breaking, heart-wrenching and raw. It is a beautiful glimpse into the mind of a girl whose life has been interrupted by madness. A girl who fought, and still fights, a disease determined to take her. It is a book not to be missed. I highly recommend it.

You can add it to your Goodreads HERE.

3 thoughts on “A Tale Of Madness: Running Like China By Sophie Hardcastle. #aww2016

  1. Lovely review, Rochelle. This sounds like a very hard-hitting read, and I really agreed with you when you said that this book it isn’t only for people who are experiencing (or know people who are experiencing) mental health issues. It’s so important that things like mental health aren’t only understood by the people who are living with them, and hopefully having a wider range of people read books like this will make those people who don’t live with or don’t talk about it more compasionate and understanding, which will (hopefully) make it easier to discuss the topics that have stigma attached to them.
    I think that’s why it was so good to have that influx of YA books published last year that dealt with mental health, because they all gave different stories and they are became easily available. I’m sure not every story told is accurate, and some of them mightn’t change how people think about and feel about mental health, but others- I hope- will contribute to a community that is more comprehensive and can offer better support.

    Again, lovely review. I’m happy you’ve read this book and are working to get more people to read it. xx

    1. Thank you, Romi. I am glad there has been an influx of YA books dealing with mental illness, and while it is great reading fiction stories, having the chance to read a true story is even better, especially for those going through similar.

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