Mind Descending by Timothy Friesenhahn
Sometimes not only does neglect play a role in the tragedy, but so does past trauma. More times than not, when someone takes their own life, it was from being unheard.
For Dane it was trauma that aided in his calamity. His own self hatred as he struggled to find himself in a world full of hate. His pain became unbearable after the death of his mother. The guilt ate at his mind and his heart.
Vernon Briggs is an old man, living out the remainder of his golden years. After his wife's death, he is murdered and savagely violated. In death he meets a figure called The Ferryman. The Ferryman requires payment, and Vernon is presented with a second chance. In his second chance he sees life as he never had before.
Dane's guilt and struggle with his sexuality gives birth to his self-hatred. Self-hatred is a demon no one wants to tangle with.
Dane and Vernon's paths intertwine many times as one searches for a chance to reunite with a loved one and the other grapples with a personal demon.
This is a story of love, a story of pain and violation. This is a story of how quickly one's mind can descend. This is a story that offers a chance of redemption. This is Mind Descending.
I have now read everything that is available by Tim, and Mind Descending is by far my favorite.
Unlike Tim's other books, which are all Splatterpunk/Bizarro/Extreme Horror, Mind Descending is grounded in reality, and the rocks he overturns are difficult to look under. Promoted right, I could see Mind Descending under General Fiction with other Mature books like Silence of the Lambs and anything by Chuck Palahniuk. Tim spotlights Mental Health, Suicide, Pedophilia, Homophobia, etc, but he does it with intent, never gratuitously. Still, there were moments that I didn't know if I would make it through, but top notch writing, and my trust in the author persevered, and my gut instincts proved true. The author came through for me, and I was very satisfied with the ending. I would love to see more content like this from Tim.
From the synopsis: "Mental health issues often go unnoticed, especially by friends and family. Sometimes, tragic outcomes stem from this neglect. Sometimes not only does neglect play a role in the tragedy, but so does past trauma. More times than not, when someone takes their own life, it was from being unheard." "Feeling his right pocket he thought 'A woman and a boy.' For the boy he loved so dearly was just a boy, in society's eyes. But, in reality, he too was just a boy. A very troubled boy, but one, nonetheless. Life had been hard on him." Dane is just a boy. A boy struggling with his emotions, his identity, and the death of the ones he loves. His journey is filled with hidden secrets, heartbreak, and fear. He is filled with self-hatred and suffers trauma that delves him into those dark places of the mind. Although Dane is the main character , the other characters are interconnected in Dane's life. His mother, his stepfather, his neighbor Mr. Briggs and the one he loves. They are all struggling with their own demons. Illness, depression, loss of life, and sexuality. There is also a story within where we are taken to meet the Ferryman. Where second chances are offered and a new look into humanity is presented. As the lives are introduced and each unfolding occurs, we are given a heartbreaking story of pain, love, and redemption. And in the end there is found peace. "True love has no boundaries. True love doesn't bear the weight of time." Hard hitting and heartbreaking, what Tim has written is truly dark, emotional and easily a connection to real life. The inner demons that many struggle to face or confront and keep hidden in the deep recesses of the heart and soul. Those that often cause pain and suffering and causes the mind to descend into the darkest places. But he reminds us that there is love, there is redemption, there is peace and hope. There is light in the darkness and it shines! A warning from the author: Respectively This book contains content not suitable for readers under 18. This book contains triggers. Please be advised that this book contains extreme horror content. Reader discretion is advised.
While not as gory as his other novels, this story hits harder in the psychological and emotional aspect while also holding an underlying critique on society. My favorite from Tim so far.