Honey Dew Review | NOVEMBER 2022 | Good Morning, Monster

Honey Dew Review | NOVEMBER 2022 | Good Morning, Monster

Good Morning Monster Book by Catherine Gildiner

This a powerful piece from the perspective of therapist, Catherine Gildiner, as she walks through the cases of five of her past patients. This book is both brutal and uplifting as it depicts the struggles and psychological traumas of several of Gildiner’s most heroic cases. While the individuals described are partially composites from multiple people, so as to protect their anonymity, the underlying importance and messages in their stories are preserved, and the resulting narrative is poignant, raw, and deeply moving.

Good Morning Monster was written for the general public to enjoy and therefore isn’t overladen with psychological jargon. It is written in a way that involves the reader emotionally in each patient's life, and while your heart will break over and over, you will somehow come out of the experience full of hope and in awe of the sheer strength and tenacity at work within some people. This is not a clinical piece, for while it offers insight into therapeutic processes, it is deeply rooted in emotionally exploring brutal humanity. Gildiner takes the reader into the darkest corners of existence, and yet, in the dark, you see what kind of light can still shine through. While some stories are written artfully enough to take the reader on a walk in the subjects' shoes, this book is written so well it takes you on a walk barefoot through the snow with bleeding feet. You experience the rage, the impotence, the injustice inside of your bones and you come out of it changed for the better. 

This book is not light reading. Some of the experiences the men and women discussed in Gildiner’s book went through are beyond imagining. Child abuse, systemic racial abuse, neglect, substance abuse, rape- it is all contained within these pages. In other words, this book is one giant CONTENT WARNING, it contains many triggers and essentially every hard subject you can think of. Yet, it is worth the pain, worth hanging in there through Gildiner’s accounts of her patients' lives and suffering, because ultimately, every person she talks about is a survivor; is a testament to the durability of human goodness and perseverance. Every person whose story is told here is a person whose life deserves to be heard and, as the author herself says, is a hero.

We do not give out five stars lightly, but we award Good Morning Monster five stars. We learned something about ourselves, about the human experience, and about deep strength and deep pain while reading this book. Ultimately, the piece changed us for the better, and so we give it the highest of recommendations with the caveat that the reader should be prepared for the many triggering topics discussed within. 

The Honey Dew Review gives Good Morning Monster 5 out of 5 stars. To see what our star ratings mean, see below:

⭐️ Not a book we recommend 
⭐️⭐️ Decent story/some good content, but lacking substance or writing skill 
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Well done; good quality writing or research, a worthwhile read
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Extremely well done; well written with excellent story/content
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Breakthrough work that stands out from the crowd, resulting in personal growth by the reader 

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