An Impossible Wife

Why He Stayed: A True Story of Love, Marriage, and Mental Illness

Non-Fiction - Memoir
213 Pages
Reviewed on 02/10/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite

An Impossible Wife by Rachael Siddoway is a non-fiction biography from the perspective of Mitch, Sonja’s husband, and written by the daughter of Mitch and Sonja. Siddoway dives deep down into the recesses of her father’s memories and intimate connection that ties his heart to his wife’s heart. And she does it in a way that completely disentangles her own perspective on what has transpired over the years. There is so much strength and love mixed with episodes of manic and depressive moments that one can’t help but feel ultimately entrenched in the lives of this family. Siddoway tells her father’s perspective so perfectly that it’s like she was there to experience it herself. Even though she wasn’t born for a few years of her parents' lives together, Rachael conveys a life lived and breathes it into the pages. An example of such a poignant moment is on page 29: “She laughed, draping her wrists over his neck. She looked too good to belong in their run-down apartment, like a china doll in a pawn shop.”

Rachael Siddoway’s An Impossible Wife: Why He Stayed: A True Story of Love, Marriage, and Mental Illness reads like a window into one family’s life. Except in this family, there is mental illness, and you watch it as though it is its own separate member of the family. An uninvited houseguest that you never know when it’s going to pop up and destroy their normal routine. There is so much to gain from reading An Impossible Wife. It can open your eyes to the people that you surround yourself with, it can soften your heart to families who struggle with mental illnesses, and it will make you want to reach out and hug the image of this family.