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Reviewed by Cassie Widjaja for Readers' Favorite
Put Off My Sackcloth by Annie Dawid is a beautiful collection of essays that center around a woman's search for happiness and meaning in her life. At the young age of twelve, Annie's life changed forever when she witnessed her mother's suicide attempt. Between struggling with her insecurities during her pregnancy and her father's death, Annie has to battle her suicidal depression. Throughout this book, she not only reflects on the events in her life, but she also offers a fresh perspective on the mass suicides of 1978.
Going against the social stigma regarding depression, Annie Dawid gives an unparalleled look into one's mind and mental health in her book Put Off My Sackcloth. While still grappling with heavy topics, she handles them with the care and sensitivity they deserve. I loved how she pointed out the toxic perspective that seeing a psychiatrist was for the weak-minded. I found Annie's detailed reflections on her life intriguing and her perseverance inspiring. Whereas most people would have given up after the first two or three blows, Annie truly embodies the saying, 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.' Though each essay is different, they form a cohesive whole that shines a light on discovering oneself and finding hope in the middle of darkness. Annie's prose is incredibly engaging, and her essays inspire other survivors to tell their complete stories without hiding anything. Regardless of whether or not you've ever experienced depression, this book is a must-read as it offers valuable insight on how one should view life and persevere through troubled times.