A wonderfully written account of a father's relationship with his troubled son, as told through his funny, tender letters.
In 2007 Michael Maitland left home for university, and in the years that followed he developed depression, OCD and, almost fatally, anorexia. It was only when Michael was taken to hospital in 2012, his body shutting down and his organs failing, that the family realised exactly what was happening.
Later Iain was given a bundle of letters that had been carefully saved and tucked away in a drawer - the letters he had written to Michael regularly from the autumn of 2007, when he went to university. Dear Michael, Love Dad is a collection of these letters coupled with extracts from Michael's daily diaries from The Priory and behind-the-scenes commentary, exploring the story of a son's descent, a father's ignorance and stupidity and a once joyous family almost torn apart by tragedy.
What did you like best about Dear Michael, Love Dad? What did you like least?
That Michael got some help.
What else would you have wanted to know about Iain Maitland’s life?
Did he ever learn to express his love in the way the Michael needed? Are his jokes to cover his emotions ever funny? It seems he breezes right over Michael's life with so much non-emotion that it's hard to tell if he owns his part in Michael's pain. This book ended in sorrow for me in that I couldn't feel any loving bond between Michael and his Dad, and his Dad and his own issues.
A fabulous personal experience of a family's journey together battling mental illness.
Whilst there were points where I found myself screaming at Iain in the main I applauded his unfailing honesty.
The ending wasn't as I expected and that pleased me.
Thank you for sharing so openly. I have no doubt that in doing so you will be a great support to those on a similar journey.
PS. I mean love. Sending you all copious amounts of love and the dreaded hugs xxx
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