Human Traces- Sebastian Faulks
⭐️ 📚Rating: An interesting and informative read, which speaks a lot about historical views on mental health
⭐️ 📚Why I read it: I recently heard Sebastian Faulks interviewed on a podcast. He mentioned that he learnt a huge amount about psychiatry and psychology whilst researching this book - so I was inspired to pick it up on world mental health day
⭐️ 📚Highlights: This book is a deep dive into the beginnings of an interesting period in the history of medicine. It explores the infancy of psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis and even genetics. The novel follows two doctors, Thomas and Jaques, from their meeting in the late 1800s, to their work together at a sanatorium, to their eventual retirement. The two men's lives are intricately tied. Thomas’s sister Sonia marries Jaques, they live together for much of their lives; and both are passionate about understanding the human mind. Yet over time their relationship begins to fracture due to their diverging scientific ideologies. I was impressed by the thoroughness of Faulks’s research. He makes detailed references to medical textbooks, lecturers, and hospitals of the time. I also loved how the book mixed personal stories with larger questions about the development of science and medicine. Is madness is the price we pay for our humanity? The enquiries of the character Thomas explore what it truly is that makes us human. My only criticism is that the book is slightly too long (and I usually love a long book). There was definitely a point where I started reading to finish rather than being completely engaged.
⭐️ 📚Summary: A really interesting read. However, you definitely need a lot of time to invest in the 600 pages – more for holiday than a weeknight
@blackwellbooks @blackwellsoxford #worldmentalhealthday #worldmentalhealthday2018