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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)

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What listeners say about January First

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    96
  • 4 Stars
    51
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    27
  • 2 Stars
    7
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Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    39
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    25
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    8
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Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    92
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Heartbreaking

This writer had the bravery to tell this harrowing even when it didn’t present himself in the best light. I took a point off because the story wrapped up abruptly, but I still recommend this book to anyone who struggles with a child who has mental illness.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wow!

This was a fast-paced account of the author's perceptions of and reactions to his young daughter's psychiatric difficulties. I didn't learn much about childhood schizophrenia, but I was frequently stunned by the intensity of the author's rage toward his wife, his students, mental health professionals, and himself. He seemed to experienced his daughter's illness as a tremendous blow to his own self image and sense of effectiveness as a person. The Schofield family unit was absolutely not one to which I would care to belong. The narration here was fantastic and served to enhance the emotional impact of the author's words.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

very good book

it was a great book I love how the parents of jani never gave up on her recovery I will definitely recommend this book to other. as I have schizophrenia and love this book it's great to know I'm not alone in this world with my hallucinations others have them as well

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disturbing

This was such a sad story, but at the same time, I was disturbed by so many things this father said. It took away from the story for me. I found it horrifying when he kept talking about his daughter's superior IQ in front of her. I couldn't help but think this was contributing to some of the problems. He also wrote such disparaging things about his wife, like he was an excellent father and she didn't know how to parent this exceptional child. Both of them were really struggling, so to attack her seemed completely inappropriate and very self serving. I cannot imagine what they went through, as it was so awful, but the superior attitude of the writer kept drawing me away from the story.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very disappointing

This is the only Audible book that I ever wanted to have refunded. This family is majorly dysfunctional, and the father is just as impaired as the daughter "January". None of the characters are sympathetic in any way, and the Audible performance is ear-​shatteringly bad. It's narrated from the father's perspective, and he is "screechy" (high pitched, screaming, manic) and almost unhinged. I cannot recommend this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully encouraging

The courage and strength shown by the parents is remarkable! Truly encouraging!! So glad this story was shared.