I’ve been reading buzz about Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan for a few months now, so I decided to find out what had people so excited about this one. The book is the author’s memoir of the month when she was struck down with a very serious illness that had doctors stumped for quite some time. Her symptoms ranged from numbness to psychosis to catatonia. Cahalan actually had to use her skills as a journalist to go back after she had recovered and interview her family, friends and doctors to piece together her entire illness. She has very few memories from the time of a serious seizure right before being admitted to the hospital until awhile after her treatment and recovery started.
Perhaps the fascination with the story is that most people know serious illness can strike at any time. Cahalan’s experience is different than many because she was able to make a full recovery and relate her experience to others.