A Divided Mind


DOMESTIC THRILLER:  Tara Lafontisee is a university professional with a master’s degree and a published author. She is also a single mother of four. Staring middle age squarely in its face, she has never blinked — until now. Her teenage son Branson has a problem. He is hearing and seeing things. It is violent, it is ugly, and it is threatening to destroy the happy middle-American family façade she has pieced together after so many years. Neither she nor Branson fully understand the intricacies of mental illness, or the breath-taking resiliency of the human soul. However, healing only comes by accepting their reality and exorcising society’s taboos. Letting go means learning how to truly come home.

“A Divided Mind” by M. Billiter is a remarkable first-person journey, from the perspectives of a mother and her troubled 17-year-old son. Each one must overcome the stigmas of mental illness, embrace their new realities, and find a way to reach each other across the chasm of loathing and self-doubt. Ms. Billiter is brutal in her honest portrayal. She never neglects the nuances of maternal love, or the love of a son for his mother. She flays back the skin and allows the reader to peer into agony, fear, insecurity and ignorance, skillfully showing the reader the haunted mind of a schizophrenic. “A Divided Mind” candidly reveals the darkest passages of a family’s sojourn. The author never once loses sight of the most important elements of healing — an indomitable spirit and love. 

Ms. Billiter has delivered an exquisite, eloquently written elucidation on mental illness. It is a must-read for anyone who would like to learn more about this disease.

Kimberly Gunvaldson