As time goes on, the world evolves. With evolution things change, even the books that we read. Mental health and wellness have been taboo topics in the black community for many years. But as we embark on a new year, with a bunch of changes that have been forced on us, along with a few welcoming changes, Honesty Price has decided to give us a book that delves deep into mental health and all things concerning it. Isaiah and Briana both are married to spouses with mental health issues. Not the functioning kind either. There's no quick fix for what they have going on, and there is no quick fix for their spouses. Group therapy is what's recommended, and it's there that Briana and Isaiah find solace along with a few other things that leave them questioning their friendship. "And maybe those feelings have been growing in a way we don't know how to label. It's not like we're dating, but I do feel... I don't know. It's..."
Briana has been married to Kevin since the age of twenty-one. A whirlwind romance filled with laughter and joy. Briana a hairdresser and Kevin an artist, they were young and carefree. Things were good, until they weren't. Kevin's minor mental health issues have snowballed. Leaving Briana to try and hold everything together. After falling and bumping her head, literally, Briana decides that not only does her husband need help, but she does as well. "She met and married that boy when they were twenty-one. Twenty-one, Rose. No way she knew what she was getting into, and she stuck it out. She's sticking it out as we speak." Getting her husband and his family to agree to the care he needs is one thing, but Briana getting the care she needs is also an issue. After visiting a group for spouses of people with mental health issues, things take a drastic turn in her life and it's kind of hard for readers to determine if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Isaiah has been with his wife Shonda for eight years, but half of their marriage has been trying to get her mental health under wraps. It started with impulsive decisions and ended with her hearing voices. With Isiah being a periodontist, he doesn't have the time to care for his wife like he should, but even with hiring an aide, Shonda still was a handful. After Shonda is almost charged with kidnapping, Isaiah starts to feel like things may have taken a turn for the worst. When Shonda's medical bills start to pile up on him, Isaiah has to make some tough decisions. "We've been together for eight years married for seven and the last four have been hell. I love her, but I can't like. Some of that time with her wrecked me. I'm still not right behind it. I sleep... well when I sleep, I sleep better knowing someone else is responsible for making sure she stays in the house, makes sure she gets her injections." Up until Briana walked into his life he had been okay with not saying much about his feelings, but it's something about her that has him wanting to open up more and do things differently.
I have to say, the originality of this plot was amazing. I've read books where the authors have touched on mental health and even therapy, but I've never read a full novel that not only talked about multiple mental health issues, but the issues the spouses deal with as well. The storyline is heavy and will have you battling your moral compass most of the book. Briana and Isaiah are both married to other people, but the author will make you feel so much compassion for these characters that you'll want them to find solace any way that they can. This book is a part of a series but can be read as a standalone. And although you don't have to read the connected books to this story to enjoy it, this book does end on somewhat of a cliffhanger and there will be a part two that's set to release this summer. I will definitely be tuned in to see how these character's story ends.
This book is scheduled to be released February 18, 2022.