Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression was sent to me by a friend in one of my online book groups after I commented that I've wanted to read it for quite some time. Having gone through a lengthy bout of postpartum depression without much support, even after many years I was anxious to read about someone else's experience.
I was not disappointed. Although Brooke Shields dealt with some very different challenges from the average new mother, her experience - particularly the thoughts that ran through her head - strongly echoed my own feelings after the birth of my first child and the kind of brush-off comment ("It's just the baby blues; you'll snap out of it") that she describes as common was exactly what I heard from every angle.
While it's been a very long time since my own bout of postpartum blues, the book was still a comforting read. It was particularly encouraging to finally realize that I wasn't the only new mother in the world to look at her newborn and think, "Could someone just take this alien back?"
Down Came the Rain is also a quick and fluid read. Shields is unflinchingly honest about the feelings she experienced and closes by strongly advising women dealing with postpartum depression to get help immediately, even adding a couple of hotline numbers and a list of books and websites. This is a wonderful, open and encouraging personal account that will undoubtedly help a lot of people and, hopefully, lead to greater awareness and understanding of the condition (if it hasn't already) and increased ease of early intervention. Huge thumbs up to Brooke and someone get a gag for that Cruise guy; his careless comment is exactly what struggling new mothers *don't* need to hear.