Friday, May 06, 2011
A Visit to Sir Winston
Mr. Charwell, is a delightful little book--how odd to say "delightful" about a story centered on depression! But, it IS delightful! (The book, of course, not depression!) It's the week of Sir Winston Churchill's long-long delayed retirement from Parliament. Now in his 89th year and only months from death, Sir Winston's "black dog," as he called depression, has come to life and is visiting House of Common's library clerk, Esther who soon is called to a rendevous with destiny at Chartwell, Sir Winston's home, as his substitute secretary. "Black Pat," the dog who arrives at Esther's home to rent her spare room and calling himself "Mr. Chartwell," is the palpable presence of depression in the most literal sense. He is a huge, hairy black dog who tries to suck the life, the will, the energy out of his "clients."
As a sufferer of depression who has been in what I call "the fog" of depression at various times since high school, I loved this book for the very real way it describes just what the "Black Dog" does to those of us whose lives it entangles. As the parent of a sufferer of depression, I wish this book had been around when my child was younger--it's such a great way to help someone understand what depression does in a life.
As for the fateful meeting of Esther and Sir Winston, I'll leave that for you to read about!