Release date - 31st May 2017
Book length - 228 pages
Publisher - Self-Published
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
“I would like to introduce myself, I feel it’s only fair. Only I know you so well now, you might get a scare. I know you know I’m in there, though I crept with greatest stealth: I am the hidden monster buried within yourself.”
Joyce is only sixteen when she’s torn from the life she loves. Two-years pass, but Joyce, her family, and her best friend Logan, are no closer to learning what’s causing her dizzying array of symptoms. As Joyce tries to come to terms with her increasing limitations those around her struggle to understand what she is going through. Baffled and unsure, the Doctors eventually diagnose Joyce with ME and CFS. But when Joyce and her family refuse to accept this diagnosis, her mental stability is called into question. Desperate for the truth and scared for Joyce’s life, their only hope lies in a private hospital where she is diagnosed with Lyme disease. Can Joyce survive a treatment as brutal as her illness? Can she find her way in a world she no longer recognises?
FINDING JOY by Morven-May MacCallum is a unique story as it is a fictional memoir dealing with the issue of chronic illness which the author battles with herself.
As the story develops we meet Joyce who is desperately dealing with the impasse her life as reached through a sudden and debilitating illness that nobody seems to be able to diagnose. With some professionals doubting her, and others labelling her with ME and CFS, Joyce knows in her heart that they are wrong. Lyme disease is the thing which has drastically changed and stolen so much of her life from her, but she is determined to fight back in every way she can even if it makes her worse in the process.
The story switches from different character's points of view which really worked for me as it let us see how chronic illness affects everyone and not just the person who is ill. I really did not know much about Lyme disease at all before I picked up this book and it is eye-opening to read just how life-altering this illness truly is.
FINDING JOY by Morven-May MacCallum is a story of bravery and inner-strength and I found myself with a lump in my throat many times throughout. A well-written story that is clearly from the heart.
I’m from the beautiful and sunny Highlands of Scotland (Ok, the sunny part might be wishful thinking!) and this is my website where I will talk about my book and the events I will be attending should you like to meet and greet in person.
If you would like to reach me by email you, please go to my contact page here
In 2009 I was preparing for a new adventure, in a new city, when I was (rather against my will) enrolled in the university of life where I perfected the skill of being chronically ill with Lyme disease. Although graduation (AKA recovery) is like trying to find the end of a rainbow, I have decided to share what a life with Lyme is really like through my characters Joyce, Aunt Beth and Logan.
I am passionate about creative writing and I am eager to help raise awareness about Lyme disease. I am available to do talks, interviews and book signings at schools, festivals, universities etc. So please feel free to get in touch through the link provided above, whether it’s a business engagement or if you just fancy sending me your thoughts on my novel – I’d be delighted to hear from you!
For more information:
Website - morven-may.co.uk
Twitter - twitter.com/MorvenMay
Facebook - www.facebook.com/morvenmay/
*I want to thank the author Morven-May MacCallum for the opportunity to review this novel. Read on for a very interesting guest post about why the author wrote FINDING JOY...
Why I wrote ‘Finding Joy’.
I was 16 when I was forced to drop out of school because the symptoms which had been steadily growing inside me, had finally devoured my physical and mental strength. It took many years of fighting to learn that the illness which had left me housebound and often bedbound was caused by Lyme disease – which can be transferred through a tick bite.
They call Lyme the ‘big pretender’ because it mimics other illnesses and has so many symptoms. Like most people with Lyme, I couldn’t understand what was happening to my body and my mind. At times, I was so physically weak that I struggled to walk from my bed to the bathroom and mentally I struggled to follow simple conversations because my mind could not process information.
I’ve been on around six years of treatment now and it’s taken a very long time to start seeing any progress but being able to do simple things like tend to my own needs or take the dog for a walk, is something I hope I will never take for granted. I still have an incredibly long way to go but when I started to feel my mental and physical abilities come back, I felt a mounting desire to do something to make people aware of this terrible illness which is so common, yet so few people know how to prevent a tick bite on themselves, their children and their pets. People are still unaware of the danger of removing a tick incorrectly or what symptoms to look out for so that they can be diagnosed and treated early.
Writing has been a huge part of my life since I was a child and writing was my escape when illness threatened to smother me. By this time, my entire life was dictated by my illness but writing was the only thing that wasn’t tainted by Lyme disease. It was hard to give that up by writing about Lyme disease but I couldn’t stand reading and hearing about people who have had their lives destroyed by this illness or have had their loved ones die from it. I decided to write it from a fictional angle because I felt that would be the most effective and emotive way to portray how debilitating Lyme disease is.
As I was writing the book, I began to feel that this story is so much bigger than just the person who is ill. I know first-hand the effect this illness has had on my friends and family and I felt their story needed to be told too, so I began to write the book from three points of view to illustrate the ripple effect this illness has. I always knew my family and friends were remarkable people and I think, as a writer, you are always trying to see things from other people’s points of view but it wasn’t until I started writing from their perspective that I really understood just how incredible the people who have stood by me truly are.
I really hope that I can use the book to raise awareness for Lyme disease and help to educate and prevent other people from losing the things that they love, whether it’s their own life or the life of a loved one.
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger from Ireland. Oh and also a wife and mother!
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