Book Reviews

Please submit the title of any books that you have found useful about young people and others who have a mentally ill parent, to be added to the list below.

Submit to Contact page.
You must specify the following subject line:Book Review

In the submission include:

  • A short descriptive paragraph,
  • Author Name
  • The Publisher and year of first publication and current publication date.

Authors and Publishers may also submit details. However you must advise us of your status as Author or Publisher. Please feel free to include two copies of your publication to NNAAMI Book Review P.O. Box 213 Glen Iris 3146 Victoria Australia.

Please include a copy of an extract and others comments or review with permission to place on NNAAMI web site, along with the Authors contact address, email, and phone number.

Please consider including NNAAMI, WAYMI and this internet site as a resource in your book.

(NNAAMI reserves the right to add or remove reviews with out notice)

After Romulus Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

Book 'After Romulus'
Author Raimond Gaita
Publisher Text Publishing

After the book and film 'Romulus My Father' Raimond Gaita writes his Memoir After Romulus

"Memoir Rural Victoria the 1950's was a far cry from the Europe that Romulus and Christina Gaita left behind. Against a harsh new landscape. Christina grew increasingly fragile and eventually left Romulus and their son. Rai, to be with her lover, Mitru. In the family home, Frogmore, Mitru's brother, Hora, became a second father to Rai. The writer revisits his childhood and tries to understand the anguish that led his mother to suicide"
The Age Newspaper Life and Style 27 August 2011 p12-14.

'People have often asked me how I survived my childhood reasonably sane. They think it was because my father and Hora loved me deeply and that I never doubted it. But as much as, perhaps more than that, it was the fact that I came to see the world in the light that my father’s goodness cast upon it.'
Raimond Gaita

Read Publisher Info and Review

ABC Radio The Book Show Interview with Author 29th August 2011

Download an extract of the book

Journey of Hope Print E-mail
Written by Paul   

Title 'Journey of Hope'
Dr Michael Davey

This courageous story takes us on a journey from Michael‚s early years in state institutions and abusive foster homes to the extraordinary years of even further abuse and anguish at the hands of his violent and schizophrenically disturbed mother. Journey of Hope also highlights Michael‚s struggles and the various ways he coped and shows how he eventually gained self-reliance, confidence, faith, integrity and an education. Surviving crippling anxiety and depression, the story further unfolds, showing how Michael became an accomplished researcher and educator and a caring husband and father.

This is a story of remarkable and near impossible forgiveness, humour and courage. Michael has our vote for writing this great autobiography which will be of tremendous enlightenment and encouragement to many.

For this we present him with the NNAAMI ' Trophy Award ' 2011.
Looking forward to the sequel.

Mr Paul Mckillop
(Counsellor Advocate and Mental Health Educator)
The National Network of Adult and Adolescent Children who have a Mentally ill parent.


Dr Michael Davey going around the country signing his best selling book Journey of Hope in ABC Shops, sharing his story with readers. His 98th Book signing at Westfield Doncaster


Journey of Hope Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

Author Dr J. Michael Davey

Listen to Radio Interview now   via Light FM  with the Author  Dr Michael Davey


Journey of Hope is the inspiring story of Dr J. Michael Davey. Fostered as a baby and placed in four state-run institutions, Michael experienced significant abuse. Kidnapped by his father, he eventually came home only to discover his mother was a violent and crazed schizophrenic who hated him.

At the hands of his deranged mother Michael was beaten mercilessly. To escape her violence and neglect, Michael left home to join the Royal Australian Navy when he was just 15 years old.

As a child, everyday was a struggle, but Michael fought against the overwhelming odds. Showing extraordinary determination and raw courage he managed to survive the horrors of his early years.

Eventually rising above it all, Michael went on to university where he was the recipient of both PhD and prestigious Medicine scholarships.

Journey with Michael from heartache to happiness, from tragedy to triumph. Smile at his clowning and mischievous antics and be inspired by the inimitable way he survived an obliterated and lost childhood.


"I commend Journey of Hope to you for all its rawness, emotion and importantly, awakening."
Jeffrey G. Kennett. AC. Director, Beyond Blue.

"Resilience and optimism are the gems that shine in this confronting story. The author’s powerful testimony is that no life need be controlled by the past when forgiveness and love shape the future."
Bishop Peter Hayward. Anglican Bishop of Wollongong.

"This is a remarkable and powerful story. It is also confronting. I congratulate the author for writing this book and encourage you to read his story – you will be both challenged and inspired by it."
Rev. John Reed. Chaplain, The Illawarra Grammar School.

"The extraordinary story of a man’s survival in the face of great adversity. It is sometimes confronting and disturbing, but always inspiring."
Dr Sal Sanzone. Medical Practitioner and Lecturer in Medical Education,

University of Wollongong.

"This is one man’s remarkable journey from tragedy to triumph."
Dr Kevin Hole. Dentist and Theologian.

"Brilliant and uplifting…a true account of an incredibly brave man’s journey."
Karen Chapman. Clinical Psychologist.


Approaching Neverland Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Peggy Kennedy

With brutal honesty and surprising humor, Peggy shares the turbulence of growing up under the shadow of Barbara's illness, of being shuffled from one family member to the next, and of visiting her mother in the mental institution. As the years pass, the shadows of Barbara's mental health challenges become a loving legacy in Peggy's quest to achieve happiness and fulfillment in her life

A vivid, haunting portrayal of one woman's struggle to understand how the past fits in with her future, Approaching Neverland is as inspiring as it is beautifully written, and will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

For further info see

Romulus, My Father - Book Reviews Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

Author: Raimond Gaita
Text Publishing Company
Biography and Memoir
Published 7/05/2007

View reviews of the film, Romulus, My Father.

Laurie Clancy
The Age
August 15, 2005

Laurie Clancy explores a moving snapshot of a son trying to define his relationship with his father

THIS book came about in unusual circumstances. Raimond Gaita delivered the eulogy at his father's funeral in 1996, and two fellow writers urged him to publish it in the literary journal Quadrant. Out of this came the book, a spare and beautifully written memoir of his father and his own fraught relationship with him.

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Jarvis Walker     Arlec

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© 2001 National Network of Adult and Adolescent Children who have a Mentally Ill Parent
Tax Deductable Reg Charity. Inc.Vic. AOO33733N ABN 41 286 047 141

N.B. All items on this site remain the property of NNAAMI. Permission is granted to duplicate and distribute any items on this site for school student purposes only provided you acknowledge the source. However, written permission is required for any reproduction or for reproduction in public forums / conferences presentations.


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Featured Articles

The 'Forgotten People'

by Anna Malbon from the Progress Press October 22, 1996

WHEN nine-year-old "Tom" was asked to draw a picture of himself with his mother be drew her trying to strangle him.

Tom entered the world of adults too early. If he was ever immune to the complications and pain of life that adults try to shelter from children, he says he can't remember.

Bulletin Board

I had to struggle extra hard

Her doctors did not bother to enquire about my father and I.

They only listened to her stories ”

“ I grew up thinking - Nobody wanted to help. Nobody wanted to know.”

Hi, I had a mentally ill mother. She passed away last year. I literally grew up hanging around mental hospitals because my Mom's condition was a cycle that always ends in a mental hospital. When I was younger, there was a long period when I cried my eyes out every time I was separated from my mentally ill mother because she had to stay in a mental hospital. After I grew older, my Mom's mental illness became impossible for me to bear.

Literally, my Mom's mental illness ruined my life. I think. I had to struggle extra hard for everything because of my big handicap at home. There was no support at all from anyone other than my father. Nobody else wanted to know about it. My mother's own cousin even said to my father not to bring my Mom to their place. I grew up thinking - Nobody wanted to help. Nobody wanted to know. My mother's own sister has been complaining since 2000 and her last complain was on 5 July 2014. This particular aunt keeps complaining about the same thing. That she had to take my Mom for her weekly injections and complained that my father and I was not around to do it. Then, she goes on to say that she saw my Mom beat me up with a cane. When she said that, I asked my Aunt, you saw my Mom beat me up with a cane? She said yes and than, she walked away.

I feel very sore with this aunt. Number one, the period she was complaining about was when I was still schooling and my father's and my mental health had deteriorated so badly that we had to leave the state for our own sanity. Before joining my father, I had to live alone with my Mom and my baby sister for almost a year. My aunt who lived a few minutes drive away did nothing when my Mom beat me up every day for months until my father managed to cut the red tape to remove me. My body was full of bruises and I was terrified to go home after school. Nobody helped. Not the neighbours who can hear all my mom's shouting at me, nor my aunt, nor my grandparents, nor my school's teachers. Someone should had intervened for a 12+ little girl. No adult helped. My father was trying his best to get me away to stay with him. Nobody helped him.

On XXXXXXXXXXXX, my Mom's sister let slip she saw my Mom beat me with a cane. And yet she did nothing! My aunt even had the cheek to say that my Mom beat me up because I said I wanted to go live with my father. The way my aunt said it was like the beatings were wholly my fault. What is wrong with the picture? You have a 12+ girl being beaten up daily, you are an aunt who knows something is going on and did nothing. Yet for years later you complain about having to take your own blood sister for her injections. And, I do not think she did it for longer than my own experiences. Probably only a few times because my father and I had to travel frequently to see to my mother. Due to the cyclic nature of her illness.

I have been going with my father when he took my mother for her weekly injections as a little girl, knee high, ever since I can remember. My own aunt is so calculative. There was a nurse that visits my Mom to give her her injections. But, the problem is my Mom will not let the nurse into her house that is why the intervention is needed. I have lost count on the number of times I had to go with my Mom for her injections as a little girl.

Her doctors did not bother to enquire about my father and I. They only listened to her stories and full stop. I think my Mom's doctors are the most heartless people I have ever met in my life. Until today, I do not like anyone who officially practices psychology because those doctors etc... contributed to my life being ruined. That is how I feel. I have been scolded by my Mom's medical team and they even dumped my Mom on me after I just turn 18 and there was no other adult around. And, they knew the situation. I was terrified because my Mom was a very violent. My Mom has pitched me, beaten me up, she has biten me with her teeth, she has smashed my head against the table and threatened to beat me with a piece of hard wood. I experienced all these as a little girl at the tender age of 12+ I had to learn karate to protect myself from her violent ways. And, when my Mom was home, I would lock my room's door and place a chair against it. I was that terrified of her.

All our belongings can go missing because my Mom is good at that sort of thing. You never know what is what with my Mom. It is like having a criminal live under the same roof as you.

My aunt kept repeating to me that on my mother's death anniversary I will have go visit her cemetery. I live in a different state from where my mother's cemetery is located. And, my aunt knows that very well. However she repeated her question to me until I said yes. I hate being forced to do something against my will because I have been forced to do things against my will my whole life.

My life is in ruins because of my mother's mental illness and people like my aunt is perpetuating the troubles for me after my mother's death. When I was 12+, my mother's mother said to me that it is my father's job to take care of my mother. In other words, my father's job and mine. And, they never lifted a finger to help. Just helping a little, my aunt has been complaining about the same thing for more than a decade. Unbelievable. Shameful.

Even though my father and I lived in a different state from my mother, we had to travel up and down every weekend because that is demanded of my mother. Sometimes, we had to travel after school and upon our arrival, she won't let us in and we had to travel all the way back. And, my father will not let me sleep at home as it is a school day, I had to go to school. My education was very important to my father. My mother could not be bothered if I succeeded or not.

I have seen more than any of my Mom's relatives have seen with regards her mental illness but people whom I just met behave like I have no idea about my Mom like they are the authority on her behaviour and her illness. Goodness gracious.

Despite this huge handicap in my life I persevered with my studies. My Mom did not give me any moral or emotional support at all. In fact her mental illness cycle will peak just or during my important exams. In other words, I had to deal with my exams and on top of them a mentally ill mother. By my final year in university, I could not take the pressure of exams and a mentally ill mother's break downs anymore.

When I was in my teenage years and early adult years, I was suicidal. I had to call Befrienders a lot. Thank God for Befrienders.

Before XXXXXXXXXXdate, I do not wish my experience to be experienced by anyone else because it is torture. However, after feeling how hard hearted my aunt is. A so called holy person, a church goer, rich person who has successful kids and grand kids. And, she can talk like it is my fault that my Mom beat me up and she (my aunt) had to take her (her own sister) for her injections when I was a kid. I really wish that my aunt must reincarnate as my father (a few lifes) so that she can eat her own words. If my aunt reincarnates and is put in my father's shoes, she would really deserve it. Hope she learns compassion through it all.

Why can't the world give children of the mentally ill a break? I am so fed up with all this troubles that stem from my mother's sister's attitude towards my father and I. After all shel lives a great lives. Rich live. What is wrong with these people? I really cannot stand them. This is my story.

After I wrote the above - I am more myself now, and I totally forgive my aunt and everybody who did nothing to help my father and I. And, everybody else who were heartless towards my father and I. However, I still think that by living a few life times as my father (my aunt) - would do her some good. But, knowing her character, she might become a psychopath and pose a threat to humanity. My father is a very, very kind soul. My aunt is a hard hearted, prejudiced, narrow minded, one tracked mind person.

How I cope? Trying my best to keep out of their way, and hang out with positive people. There are plenty of great people out there. Nnaami is included :)


South East Asia