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Publisher's Summary

January First is a brilliant and harrowingly honest memoir. The story of Michael Schofield's daughter January's descent into scizophrenia, and her family's struggle to save her, will fascinate and move listeners. January First is the extraordinary story of a father's fight to save his child from an extremely severe case of mental illness in the face of overwhelming adversity.

©2012 Michael Schofield (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An unflinching portrait of the scourge of mental illness." (Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
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Jani is Interesting!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Surely. It's fascinating.

What did you like best about this story?

The humanity of it.

What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

All of it.<br/>

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nope. I don't have extreme reactions at all, I'm an Aspergian.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Gripping, intense, amazing story

This is an amazing story of an incredibly bright girl caught in the grip of severe mental illness and her family's efforts to deal with heartbreaking choices. The story moves quickly and kept me interested...in fact, I was starting to wish my commute was a little longer so that I could kep listening! The narrator does a great job capturing the emotional trauma of the book's author.

If you found yourself fascinated by "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden", you will love this book. If you love stories of how families persist in the face of challenges, you will love this book. If mental illness and its description makes you uncomfortable; if you want everything to turn out rosy for everybody no matter what...you may want to skip this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fascinating story; author is annoying

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend the book because the story of January and her illness is very interesting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of January First?

January being desperate to hit her dog and her father trying to stop her and distract her.

What three words best describe Patrick Lawlor’s voice?

high-pitched, scratchy, grating

Any additional comments?

I found the author's description of his interactions with his wife to be shocking. The author was very disrespectful of his wife, and so many of their interactions left me feeling like I had wandered into a couple's spat at a party. I'm also amazed at how arrogant the author is about his perceive abilities to connect with his daughter. He really seems to be delusional in this aspect.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Unusual

What did you like best about January First? What did you like least?

It is unusual for me to write a review; this one is begging for comments. There is no doubt that Jani has a serious mental diagnosis, and she is extremely difficult to tolerate and control. But I think the parents exacerbate the problems on almost every page. If the girl is awake, they wish she would sleep. If she is asleep, they wake her up. They try for months to get her hospitalized, but their memories are short, for upon hospitalization, they become sappy and want to bring her home. Her dad is never happy just to let her be. It is no wonder that the problems escalate over time.

What three words best describe Patrick Lawlor’s performance?

Lawlor's delivery is typical. His emphasis becomes a little tiresome.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Marian
  • La Palma, CA, United States
  • 11-13-14

Worth a thousand credit 👌👍

I finished the book in one day !! One of the best books I have bought , in fact I don't want the book to finish. I feel for the parents of Jenny but I feel sorry for the dad michael, he's in denial . Jenny needs professional help .
By the way , the narrator is really good , he brought so much life into the characters 👍

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hard to say

What did you like best about January First? What did you like least?

Mom

What was one of the most memorable moments of January First?

January guessing at reason for time out

Would you be willing to try another one of Patrick Lawlor’s performances?

Not if I can help it

Did January First inspire you to do anything?

Nope

Any additional comments?

Interesting study in Father Obsessiveness. Thank God he was there to save the day. Gee if someone just listened to mom, there would have been no story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

a must listen

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I heard about this book on NPR. It is an incredible story which taught me so much about schizophrenia and families that must deal with not only the disease but the obstacles our society places in the way of loving families trying to cope. Once you start you will not be able to stop listening. It is a true tragic story that reads like a great piece of fiction.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me very thoughtful and very grateful !

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Christine
  • CARMICHAEL, CALIFORNIA, United States
  • 11-26-12

An amazing read!

Where does January First rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is one of the most interesting books I have read, gives a sense of what it is like to care for a young child with severe mental illness.

Have you listened to any of Patrick Lawlor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't, so can't compare!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, I had a lot of sympathy for January and her parents. At times their is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time

Any additional comments?

Brings about awareness of childhood onset scizophrenia and other mental illness.