The Guest House: Stories of a Nervous Mind
Life Rattle Press (2019)
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (01/2023)
In The Guest House: Stories of a Nervouse Mind author Shannon Terrell has given the reader an in-depth and very personal look into a life filled with anxiety disorders and how to deal with them, and she has done it in a very honest and well-written manner.
This book is a collection of short chapters detailing what this author has gone through from early childhood in her own personal mental health struggle with anxiety and how it affected, and I am sure, still affects, her life. It is the story of a person who is trying to find themselves and work out how to survive. There are moments in the book where you will laugh, where you will cry, and where you will question yourself and your own emotions in very real ways. It can be a very difficult book to read, but it really is engaging and well worth the time.
I was impressed with the way the author presented the story to readers in The Guest House. It is very well-done without any denial of the situations included. The book is honest, even when it is painful, and the author did not try to make it anything different from it was, which is the way it should be. There is a helplessness that it is apparent the author felt in her life, and it comes through to the reader in a very straight-forward way with no extra descriptions that take away from the seriousness of the book.
A lot of the content in these pages will ring true to many readers in parts of their own lives as we follow this very strong woman through her struggles. I would recommend The Guest House: Stories of a Nervous Mind to anyone who suffers from anxiety issues as well as to anyone who lives with a loved one who suffers from them. It is a book that I hope will help many to see that mental illness is not something that has to define who you are for a lifetime; it is something that can and should be dealt with and overcome. Ms. Terrell has given us a detailed explanation of just how to do that, and I thank her for sharing her personal journey with so many others. That was a very brave thing to do and I commend her for it.