No wonder this memoir by David Jester has attracted such glowing praise. It isn't just honest, it's searingly honest. The author isn't afraid to bare his soul, telling us in unflinching detail of his struggle, between the ages of 7 and 18, with Tourette's, mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction. In the end, he is diagnosed with dystonia, a neurological disorder where muscle contractions give rise to twisting movements or abnormal postures. Against that tough background, he regularly shuns social contact, prefers his pet rabbit to local friends and finds every excuse not to attend school.
It is to David Jester's enormous credit that he paints this dark picture with self-effacing humour and generous dollops of irony. We feel sad that he has had to face such testing challenges to his physical and mental welfare but his wit constantly uplifts us and, somehow, we feel sure he will come through in the end.
For me, as a fellow writer, it is especially heart-warming to read that his eventual redemption comes through his gift for writing. Just when he is at his lowest ebb, his creative talent lifts him and gives him a compelling reason to break his cycle of misfortune and self-destruction.
"The Line, the Itch and the Rabbit Hole" is poignant, touching and richly endowed with humanity and wit. I cannot commend it too highly.