Disclaimer: My sister wrote this book. And no, I’m not being paid to write this.
My sister, Emi Sano, published her first novella the other day. I being the good Big Sister that I am, preordered the book off of Amazon. You can find it here. If there’s any question to if we are related, my name is in the back of the book. I think I’m most excited about that.
I read multiple iterations of this as she was writing it. Did a lot of fact checking but also a lot of it came from my personal experiences with mental illness, and my experience as my long term best buddy forever’s experience with mental illness. I gave her details of what anti-psychotics feel like, and also pointed her towards resources for the technical stuff.
Now to the story: Kevin is the oldest sibling in an Asian American family, he and his sister are first generations and they are trying to navigate school and life while walking a line between two cultures. Their parents are trying to present the image of the perfect family, with stereotypically perfect Asian children. The problem is, that Kevin develops schizophrenia. The parents insistence that there is nothing “wrong” with their child ultimately leads to him committing suicide.
And that’s really where the young sibling, Molly’s, story begins.
As Kevin lays in a hospital bed, Molly begins to see her family as it really is. She begins to see how her parents withdrew love from her brother for being sick. She learns of his secrets – friends, books, music.
What I love most about this book is that it highlights the struggle that can happen within families that are both trying to keep the culture of where they came from, and where they are now. It also highlights the importance of mental illness and how kind of “writing it off” can have catastrophic results.
Give it a read. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
We Don’t Talk About That by Emi Sano.