Following on from my last blog with Madeline Dyer I am pleased to share my review for her latest book, Captive.
Book Review for Captive by Madeline Dyer
Author: Madeline Dyer
Genre: Biography, poetry
Publisher: Ineja Press
Release Date: 14th Jan 2020
I just want to get better and see the stars and believe in hope again.’
Captive, Madeline Dyer’s first poetry collection, is based on the therapy writings she produced when she was experiencing psychosis and OCD due to Autoimmune Basal Ganglia Encephalitis, a rare type of brain inflammation caused by the immune system attacking the brain. While her communication skills and cognitive abilities diminished due to the effects of the inflammation, she was able to share her thoughts and emotions via the written word, a process that gave her great comfort when she otherwise felt possessed.
Captive provides readers with a glimpse of her tormented mind during this dark time of loneliness, loss, and fear.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with cerebral vasculitis, which is another rare form of inflammation in the brain, and also having problems with my basal ganglia I was intrigued by the blurb to read someone else’s experience of a neurological disease. Reading Madeline’s poems made me appreciate how lucky I was in experiencing mainly physical symptoms. They are raw, honest and haunting giving an insight into the terrifying world of OCD and psychosis. The panic, fear and confusion comes through with the imagery she uses and I feel privileged to have read them. I wanted to reach into the book and give her a hug and tell her she will get through it. Mental health is rarely discussed at the level it should and as an outsider it is hard to understand how it feels. These poems opened my eyes in a similar way Still Alice by Lisa Genova did for early dementia. It makes me see things differently and have given me a greater awareness and compassion for these conditions.
Would I recommend?
Yes, read them. They are emotional and sometimes hard to read but you will come out of the book a different person which is a sign of a good book and in this case an important collection of poems to raise awareness of mental health.
Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and holds a BA honours degree in English from the University of Exeter. She has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Her debut novel, Untamed (Prizm Books, May 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged.
Thank you Madeline Dyer for the advanced copy so I could review and give my honest, unbiased opinion.
Do you have any poems that touched you and changed the way you see the world? Let me know in the comments below.