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5 stars for Matthew by Christopher Griffith #memoir #parenting #mentalillness #bookreview

Title: Matthew – how the premature birth of my son helped heal my bipolar disorder

Author: Christopher Griffith

Genre: Memoir, Parenting, Mental Illness

Book Blurb:

Matthew is my autobiographical account of the premature birth of our son who joined my wife and I in the world at just 27 weeks gestation; for me personally, the journey upon which we travelled at that time actually started two decades earlier for I found myself drawing on, reliving even experiences and frames of mind I had first suffered alone back at university when I grew mentally ill. This time though I had support, not just from my wife but from a soul-speaking comfort we both realised was helping us through our trauma…

My Review:

A father-to-be overcomes his mental illness through the miracle of his son, Matthew, born prematurely. Christopher suffers through two decades of mental illness but he’s put to the ultimate test when his wife, Ali, gives birth at just 27 weeks. The next 100 days are torture for these new parents. Christopher lays bare his thoughts, feelings, and voices in his head as he goes through trauma so severe, so life-altering, it’s a wonder he didn’t go stark raving mad. His support comes from an unlikely source and his transformation is miraculous.

Matthew is an inspiring story of how strong the human spirit is, especially when faced with unspeakable trials. Gut-wrenching emotions pepper the narration. While some readers may be put off by that, I connected with it and with Christopher. I couldn’t stop reading. The writing is honest, dark, uplifting, emotional and 100% real. This really happened. I liked the raw nature of this memoir. Trust me, there’s no sugar-coating here. If you’re a parent, you’ll want to read Matthew. If you’re suffering from mental illness, you’ve got to read this book. If you love streaming dark stories, you are the perfect reader for Matthew. Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5 stars

Buy it Now:

Author Biography:

I read English at the University of Bristol and had always intended to remain in academia after graduation, but it was my misfortune to fall very ill during the course culminating in a diagnosis of bipolar disorder when I left the west country for home; much soul-searching soon indicated to me that perhaps life wanted me to be a writer rather than a literary critic.

I was given tremendous support by loved ones through this time of mental fragility including that from my great aunt who advised me not to engage in self-pity regarding the condition. At first, as with many I suppose who receive gut-wrenching diagnosis, I did feel sorry for myself, but over time her counsel grew wiser within me and I learnt to abide by its direction.

In a way, with all the common sense hardiness of her generation this relative of mine was expounding what has come to be known in our time as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the replacing of negative thoughts with more life-affirming ones; CBT has been fundamental in correcting and balancing my state of mind, and I still employ its skills to this day.

After a while, I did return to tertiary education pursuing a postgraduate qualification in Creative Writing from that most prestigious of institutes for the discipline, the University of East Anglia. At the very end of this course my great aunt passed away, yet she it was who with her original advice imbued me with resolve enough to write, and edit, and here publish.

It then remains for me to thank you greatly for any time you take in considering and/or buying my book. I have put all effort into condensing the novels from sometimes unwieldy narrative to then often snapshot story, and I really do hope you enjoy the result!

Social Media Links:

I have an author website at

Which includes a link to my poetry blog at

And my Amazon author page with more of my books available for purchase is at

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

1 Comment

Barbara Bettis
Nov 16, 2021

An important topic! Your great-aunt sounds like a wise, understanding lady. Kudos to you for pushing through the uncertain times!! Wishing you the very best

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