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Where the Moon Isn't (Thorndike Press Large Print Core Series) Hardcover – Large Print, 25 Apr 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 395 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (25 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141046847X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410468475
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm

Product Description

A stunning novel. Ambitious and exquisitely realized . . . clearly the work of a major new talent. --S. J. Watson, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Before I Go to Sleep" While on vacation with their parents, Matthew Homes and his older b

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A heartbreaking and honest portrayal of mental illness & childhood regret 8 Nov. 2013
By Sara - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Where the Moon Isn't begins with the recounting of a childhood memory by the 19-year old narrator Matthew. This memory, which may seem, to the reader, odd at best and unimportant at worst, has stayed with Matthew his entire life as a defining moment that set in motion a choice that ended in the death of his older brother, Simon. Now, Matthew is telling his story - and his brother's story - as he attempts to bring his brother back. Matthew is convinced he's found a way to do this: by going off the meds that keep his schizophrenia - and his brother - at bay. As Matthew tells his story, the reader struggles to unravel the truth from Matthew's version, which one can never take completely at face value, as it meanders through past and present, sometimes linear, sometimes repetitively, but always with a steady, persistent goal: finding Simon.

I cannot stress how much important I think this novel is. It deals with a myriad of topics, most notably mental illness, in a raw, honest way that readers won't soon forget. I was incredibly moved by Where the Moon Isn't... not just by Matthew and Simon's story, but by the stories of even the secondary characters. I can't talk about this book without my heart breaking and my eyes filling with tears because it's obvious that Filer has first hand experience with the issues he writes about in this book. My mother has spent most of her life working with for Community Mental Health of Michigan, so throughout my life I had the pleasure of meeting some of the most absolutely wonderful people who are saddled with mental and physical deficiencies. Filer gives these individuals a voice with Where the Moon Isn't. This book is a compelling mystery with engaging psychological elements, but, because of the author's heart and deft hand, it is also so much more.

While Where the Moon Isn't is technically adult fiction, it has definite crossover appeal. The main character, Matthew, is only nineteen and much of the novel focuses on his childhood.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
So unexpected! 29 Nov. 2013
By Janina - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Where the Moon Isn't was a story I didn't really know what to expect going into reading it. I hadn't seen any reviews for it, but the synopsis had me very curious and intrigued. Even though I had no I idea what to expect when I started this book, it was still so unexpected. This was is a mystery that you yearned to know what happened on that night and how things would end. You know something bad happens, but you just don't know what. You want to know why Matthew is the way he is. What had me so intrigued with the story was the writing style of the author and how he went about creating this story. I've not read a book quite like this before. Being in the mind of Matthew was hard at times. We get to know him through his past memories when he was child and also in the present. But Matthew isn't an average person, so reading from his POV could be a pain at times. He flips through memories so quickly, but the memories were very important in getting to know him and the pain that he has been going through all these years. Matthew has a mental illness and we learn about it in pieces. The death of his older brother Simon when they were kids started to mess with his mind. Simon had special needs. This story was painful to read. I wouldn't say it was emotional for me to read about, the pain of the situations and having to painful unravel all the painful memories that Matt was reliving was just really hard to read about.

I found the book to be great in certain aspects (things I've mentioned previously), but there were also some things that I had trouble with at first. Even though I came to love the writing of the author, it took me a couple chapters to really get into the story and understand the writing. But once I understood the writing I really came to love it. Also, I at times through the story, I got a bit bored, but that did not stop me from wanting to read the story. It had its slow moments, but even with the slow moments we learned information about Matthew that helped to get to know him. The way Matthew thought he could bring his brother back was really interesting, but it was also confusing at times. But I understand what the basic concept of his was. By the end of the book, I was really rooting for Matthew to finally come to terms with the death of his brother and to figure out how he would continue on with his life. But like I said, Matthew has a mental illness, so his life is not an easy one to live to understand.

I received a copy for review. All thoughts are my honest opinion!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A remarkable insight into the mind and treatment of a mentally ill young man. 28 Jan. 2014
By Kiwiflora - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Winner of the 2013 Costa First Novel Award.

The author works in the mental health service of the NHS. He is also, according to his website, a performance poet, of some note in the UK. Such a person as this must have a remarkable insight into the human mind, and also possess the gift to put it all into word pictures for the rest of us.

It was a real privilege to be let into the mind and soul of a schizophrenic young man who realises things aren't quite right, but seems determined to overcome the problems he is currently facing. Matthew is 19 years old and is narrating the story of the last 10 years of his life. It is 10 years since his brother, who was 12, died while the family was on holiday at a camping ground. His brother, Simon, had Downs Syndrome. The family was a close knit one, and Matthew describes his parents, his grandparents and his brother in loving and descriptive words. Simon's death, for which Matthew feels 100% responsible, affects everyone very, very deeply. His parents sink into their own awful grief, Matthew blames himself and as the years pass feels increasingly unable to cope with daily life due to this enormous burden he carries around with him. His grandmother, Nanny Noo, is the one constant in his life, always there, always compassionate - the one really significant adult in his life.

The one thing Matthew never loses during these years is his ability to write down what he is going through and this becomes the one therapy that helps him get through a trauma that just won't let him go. The narration covers the 10 years from the day of the death to the present, but jumps around a bit during the years of this time period, which does take a little concentration, as he seems, to me, to be in and out of hospital quite a bit! His descriptions of hospital routine, and his unbelievably dull, boring and most awful time there would bring out a cry for help in anyone. You know then that you are reading the words of an author who knows what he is talking about.

I don't normally go for books like this. But it had received good reviews, and of course a first novel award. Many of reviews on Amazon and Good Reads are 5 star - very high praise. It seems a lot of these readers have either had experience of some sort of mental health issue themselves, or been close to those who have. I didn't get quite the same feeling of stunning and awesome from this book, but certainly feel as if my own mind has been opened more to what a mental health illness would be like.

Published in the US as "Where the Moon Isn't", apparently with some edits from the original which was pubished in the UK as "The Shock of the Fall".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
original and well written story about mental illness and loss 2 Jan. 2014
By J. A. Logsdon - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book very much. It is the story of a young man, Matthew Homes and the two events that shaped his life: his mental illness and the death of his brother in childhood. It is written in an authentic, original voice. The one drawback in reading it is that it skips around in time which can get confusing. I read another review that said this may have been deliberate to convey the experience of mental illness. I agree with this and bring it up just to warn readers who like a linear story line. Nathan Filer has great talent and will hopefully continue writing on a subject with which he is very familiar (mental illness; he has worked in psychiatry). If you like character driven, original writing and have an interest in mental illness, this one is for you!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
well-written; questionable premise 30 Mar. 2014
By corinne d clark - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this was extremely well-written. The writer was very creative in how he presented the "story," both in terms of format and chronology. I actually felt at times as though I was inside the mind of a young man who suffered extreme mental illness.

My reservation concerning the ultimate premise of the novel has to do with a specific identified cause for the young man's illness. I don't believe that is true or as simple in real life.
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