Winner of the 2009 PEN New England Award, Tracey's book follows his journey to Ireland in search of answers to his family's struggle with mental illness. Two of Tracey's sisters developed schizophrenia, and his mother was troubled until her death, with the burden of realizing she passed the illness genetically on to her family.
In a London pub, Tracey randomly meets a doctor, who tells him of a genetic clue to the cause of schizophrenia in Ireland. The link was found in blood samples taken in County Roscommon, home to Tracey's ancestors. This information inspires a quest to unearth the roots of his family's multigenerational struggle with schizophrenia.
Tracey takes off on an excursion across Ireland, in a renovated camper, searching faerie mounds, haunted caves and healing springs. He pours over historical records and visits distant cousins looking for clues and separating fact from the legends of Irish madness.
I connected with Tracey on so many levels. My family traces back to Ireland and also has the genetic link to schizophrenia, which has troubled members of my extended family for several generations. I was right there with him, curious and driven through the entire account of his quest. I started reading and couldn't put it down.
This book is both poignant and powerful. Although it didn't give me all the answers, it did give me some much needed peace. Thank you, Mr. Tracey. And thank you, Wildeve. It was a sign.
For more info on Patrick Tracey and his book, click [HERE].