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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Towards the Light is an autobiography by Christine O'Toole in which she shares her mental health struggles and recovery. Born in 1957, O’Toole experienced personal and family stress as a child due to the physical illness of a sister, and a mother struggling with mental illness. The death of her father when she was fourteen inspired her to begin a spiritual search which the traditional church didn’t satisfy, and which led to the study of Spiritualism. Sixteen years later, a wife and mother, O’Toole was diagnosed with Paranoid Psychosis and began a long, painful, and complex journey to emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. In this book, she presents the tools that helped her in the hope that they may help others.
Towards the Light is a fascinating story told in simple and direct narrative. O'Toole opens her heart to the reader in a gentle, natural tone. I was moved by her description of the world through the lens of paranoid psychosis, and so grateful that she received the professional care and medication she needed to come out of that dark and fearful place. The practical self-help tools O’Toole shares are applicable to any of us. I especially liked the suggestions about viewing life with a spirit of adventure and gratitude, and developing inner peacefulness and acceptance. “I found that I could look to the future with more hope and excitement than I had ever previously looked at life before,” she writes. “Very often, new beginnings can come out of adversity and struggle.” An enlightening read.