Mother and son duo Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley have written The Boy Between: A Mother and Son's Journey From a World Gone Grey. The memoir will be published by Little A, an imprint of Amazon Publishing in October.
Josh was 19 and just starting out at university when his mental health deteriorated to the point where he planned to take his own life. His mother, Amanda, found herself with no clear sense of how she could help him. Their memoir explores how the depression impacted them and their family.
The idea for the book started as a series of emails swapped between the mother and son, who found it easier to communicate through written words in the earlier days of Josh's depression. The resulting book is "the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times".
The duo were motivated to talk open and honestly in their book because of the possibility that it could help even one person who is in the same situation as Josh or Prowse as a mother of someone suffering with their mental health.
Josh commented: "I know however that in the depths of my depression when suicide felt like my only option it would have helped to know that these feelings were commonplace. I hope my words can make someone else feel less alone."
Prowse is the bestselling author of dozens of novels, but this is her first work of non-fiction. The author found it "tough" and "exhausting" to write about her own life, particularly on such a difficult topic, but Prowse commented that it is "the most important book" she has ever written.
Little A editor Victoria Pepe branded the book "a hugely important, fearless memoir that asks important questions about mental health in young people, as well as looking closely at the relationship and bond between mother and son".