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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Shadow Child: My Life as a Healthy Sibling to Chronic Disease by Randall S. Beach is the author’s story of coping with a life-changing, chronic disease inflicted on his brother. He speaks about how Diabetes Mellitus altered his relationship with his parents and brother, and instead of having a normal sibling relationship, it was always a quasi-parental mutation. His stories about his relationship with his brother, parents, family friends, and family members are both sad and happy and throw light on how even healthy siblings also suffer alongside their sick brother or sister. The tips, advice, and suggestions in the book will help millions of families who are struggling to cope with the day-to-day pressures of living with someone having a chronic illness.
The book is informative and will help many readers out there connect with the author’s woes. His honesty and straightforwardness in sharing distress and pain with readers is appreciated and he shares awareness on how to deal with the disease through the book. Randall S. Beach speaks about the demanding nature of chronic illnesses and how the healthier siblings might feel neglected as parents are always concerned about the unhealthy one. It is heartrending yet positive to see how he understood the difficulties of his parents and realized that their love for him was always there. Randall S. Beach chose to step out of the shadows by getting rid of the feelings of fear, jealousy, resentment, and emotional neglect. It is a story of self-love, understanding, acceptance, and compassion, and is a good read that will help to control the wrong feelings caused by perceived emotional neglect.