By T. Greenwood
Nearer Than the Sky recounts the story of generations of a family’s grief.
Indie Brown has a secure and happy adult life. Suddenly she is drawn back to her family home when her infant niece becomes seriously ill. Once home, Indie suspects her sister Lily is harming her own baby. As the story unfolds, Indie comes to the realization that their mother was behind Lily’s own sickly childhood.
There have been cases in the media and legal system regarding Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. This is a complex mental illness where the person affected, usually the mother, causes harm to her child. This brings attention to the child, but also to herself. She becomes addicted to the sympathy and attention. Obviously, there are inevitable lifelong consequences.
This book is well written in its handling and explanation of the disorder. The treatment and respect of the characters is also well done. Their relationships are tightly woven, exposing the fragile nature of mental illness, especially within mother-daughter relationships.
T. Greenwood handles a sensitive situation well, exposing a little discussed problem in a natural and realistic manner.