Welcome to another book-review for the Twisted Book Club! You can read the previously discussed book Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This time I will review I Know My Name written by C. J. Cooke. I got this book at the hotel in The Gambia. I had my friend read it first and she finished it before I went back to Senegal, so I brought it. Meaning that I’ve had this book for almost a year now. I’ve finally found the time and space to read it. The story is about this woman who wakes up stranded on an island, but doesn’t know who she is. Let’s get into a twisty, but great story, shall we?
I know my name
I Know My Name is about a man in London who comes home early to his 5-year old son and baby girl, because his wife is nowhere to be found. Somewhere on a Greek island, there is a woman who remembers nothing about her life. What could have happened to this man’s wife that she would leave her two children home alone? And how will this husband ever find his wife? I Know My Name tells a story about a woman who doesn’t know anything about herself to dig deep into the shadows of her consciousness to tell her lifestory. A husband is urged to take a deeper look at his wife and see her for who she really is. Grandparents are even confronted by the fact that financial comfortability does not protect you from life. All in all, this book teaches you a lot about love, life, trauma and healing.
Written from alternate perspectives, I Know My Name is based on the location. So, it basically switches from London and the Greek island. The most perspectives are from the woman who woke up on the island and the husband with his missing wife back in London. However, sometimes the perspectives of the younger version of the woman and her grandparents are thrown in there. Every chapter tells you from which perspective and date you’re reading. This makes it very easy to follow.
The moral of the story is to bring awareness to mental illness. To me, that is important because not everyone sees it the same and it shines light to a different way of experiencing it. Also, mental illness is still very stigmatized, especially when it comes to post-natal depression or when it is tied to traumatic experiences. People tend to brush it off as hormones, moodswings or stress. However, it is ok to ask for help and sometimes you just need to force yourself to confront your personal demons. Yes, there is also a lesson of how it can be hard to truly know someone. People will always hide raw parts of themselves, and sometimes you’ll think you know someone so well, while that is not even true. As if to think knowing someone so well is a type of arrogance and expect people to disclose everything to you. Crazy.
I definitely recommend reading I Know My Name. I’m sure that like me, you’d want to find out why the hell this woman ends up on this island. And mostly: why the hell would she leave her two children alone??? The book is easy to read, and you definitely want to finish it in one day. I love how in the end the characters adapt to eachother. I know definitely more about mental illness and I just hope that everyone who experiences it will find the right love and support to go through it. I’m glad C. J. Cook took it upon herself to write such an amazing story based on her own experiences. That takes a lot of courage, especially since there is a lot of stigma around the subject. I definitely want to read more from her.
Have you read I Know My Name? If not, what are you waiting for??! Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences on mental illness. You can do so in the comments or you can send me an email. Remember: you can always seek help and you’re definitely worthy of love and life.