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In this extraordinarily moving memoir about grief, mental illness, and the bonds of family, a writer delves into the tragedy of his mother’s violent death at the hands of his brother who struggled with schizophrenia. Perfect for fans of An Unquiet Mind and The Bright Hour. Vince Granata remembers standing in front of his suburban home in Connecticut the day his mother and In this extraordinarily moving memoir about grief, mental illness, and the bonds of family, a writer delves into the tragedy of his mother’s violent death at the hands of his brother who struggled with schizophrenia. Perfect for fans of An Unquiet Mind and The Bright Hour. Vince Granata remembers standing in front of his suburban home in Connecticut the day his mother and father returned from the hospital with his three new siblings in tow. He had just finished scrawling their names in orange chalk on the driveway: Christopher, Timothy, and Elizabeth. Twenty-three years later, Vince was a thousand miles away when he received the news that would change his life—his younger brother, Tim, propelled by unchecked schizophrenia, had killed their mother in their childhood home. Devastated by the grief of losing his mother, Vince is also consumed by an act so incomprehensible that it overshadows every happy memory of life growing up in his seemingly idyllic middle-class family. In this vibrant combination of personal memoir and journalism, Vince examines the disease that irrevocably changed his family’s destiny. As he painstakingly pieces together Tim’s story, Vince begins the process of recovering the image of his remarkable mother and salvaging his love for his brother. Written in stark, precise, and beautiful prose, Everything Is Fine is a powerful and reaffirming portrait of loss and forgiveness.


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In this extraordinarily moving memoir about grief, mental illness, and the bonds of family, a writer delves into the tragedy of his mother’s violent death at the hands of his brother who struggled with schizophrenia. Perfect for fans of An Unquiet Mind and The Bright Hour. Vince Granata remembers standing in front of his suburban home in Connecticut the day his mother and In this extraordinarily moving memoir about grief, mental illness, and the bonds of family, a writer delves into the tragedy of his mother’s violent death at the hands of his brother who struggled with schizophrenia. Perfect for fans of An Unquiet Mind and The Bright Hour. Vince Granata remembers standing in front of his suburban home in Connecticut the day his mother and father returned from the hospital with his three new siblings in tow. He had just finished scrawling their names in orange chalk on the driveway: Christopher, Timothy, and Elizabeth. Twenty-three years later, Vince was a thousand miles away when he received the news that would change his life—his younger brother, Tim, propelled by unchecked schizophrenia, had killed their mother in their childhood home. Devastated by the grief of losing his mother, Vince is also consumed by an act so incomprehensible that it overshadows every happy memory of life growing up in his seemingly idyllic middle-class family. In this vibrant combination of personal memoir and journalism, Vince examines the disease that irrevocably changed his family’s destiny. As he painstakingly pieces together Tim’s story, Vince begins the process of recovering the image of his remarkable mother and salvaging his love for his brother. Written in stark, precise, and beautiful prose, Everything Is Fine is a powerful and reaffirming portrait of loss and forgiveness.

30 review for Everything Is Fine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I don’t know where to begin with this book other than the blurb, “In this extraordinarily moving memoir about grief, mental illness, and the bonds of family, a writer delves into the tragedy of his mother’s violent death at the hands of his brother who struggled with schizophrenia. Perfect for fans of An Unquiet Mind and The Bright Hour.” Mental health deserves our spotlight and attention. We can’t ignore it any longer. We need to reduce the stigma, so real life stories where mental illness plays I don’t know where to begin with this book other than the blurb, “In this extraordinarily moving memoir about grief, mental illness, and the bonds of family, a writer delves into the tragedy of his mother’s violent death at the hands of his brother who struggled with schizophrenia. Perfect for fans of An Unquiet Mind and The Bright Hour.” Mental health deserves our spotlight and attention. We can’t ignore it any longer. We need to reduce the stigma, so real life stories where mental illness plays a big part are beyond critical. Vince Granata is a skilled writer, and this memoir is highly readable even though the topics are heartbreaking but important. Vince and his family never lose their love for their brother and son. The complex catwalk of that love and the path to understanding and redemption is an experience I can’t even begin to put into words. Everything Is Fine is a book to be read and discussed. It's a portrayal about the power of forgiveness in the face of immeasurable loss, as well as a testament to grappling with the complexity of mental illness in those whom we love most. I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Vince Granata's memoir will leave you spellbound when you read it. "Everything is Fine" tells the poignant, painfully, seeringly honest story of what it's like to have a brother diagnosed with schizophrenia and who one day stabs their mother to death because of psychosis which convinced him of the truth of things not real. Tim was one of a set of triplets who grew to be a champion high school wrestler with a truly normal childhood. But Tim lost his grip on reality during college years, convinced Vince Granata's memoir will leave you spellbound when you read it. "Everything is Fine" tells the poignant, painfully, seeringly honest story of what it's like to have a brother diagnosed with schizophrenia and who one day stabs their mother to death because of psychosis which convinced him of the truth of things not real. Tim was one of a set of triplets who grew to be a champion high school wrestler with a truly normal childhood. But Tim lost his grip on reality during college years, convinced with paranoid delusions that demons were after him. The family did everything imaginable to support their increasingly irrational family member. Vince as the older brother relates the sense of guilt he retains as he details all the signs of madness and the fear of violence. Indeed, his guilt that he was gone out of the country at the critical moment unable to cope with Tim anymore. Then, the memoir offers us glimpses of Tim's trial and the odd position Vince and the others felt with torn loyalties to mom or the brother who murdered her though not rational enough to be considered responsible. We learn how Vince continues to visit Tim and you hear the frustration at the system which failed to provide for those who suffer from psychosis. It is near impossible to convey accurately what a powerful piece of writing this memoir is.

  3. 4 out of 5

    DeAnn

    5 painful memoir stars Vince is the older brother to his triplet siblings – Christopher, Timothy, and Elizabeth. Vince’s memories are clear on the day they came home from the hospital and he shares anecdotes about growing up in Connecticut with them and his parents – both doctors. The title of the memoir is a reference to something his mother frequently said but things are not fine in this family. Timothy has struggles with mental illness and they really escalate and he chooses to not take any m 5 painful memoir stars Vince is the older brother to his triplet siblings – Christopher, Timothy, and Elizabeth. Vince’s memories are clear on the day they came home from the hospital and he shares anecdotes about growing up in Connecticut with them and his parents – both doctors. The title of the memoir is a reference to something his mother frequently said but things are not fine in this family. Timothy has struggles with mental illness and they really escalate and he chooses to not take any medication as a young adult. He’s at Lehigh on a wrestling scholarship and nearly graduates. However, at home, things take a very dark turn and Timothy kills his mother and then turns himself in. This memoir is the journey that Vince takes, researching Timothy’s illness – schizophrenia – and the path to reconciling his love (and forgiveness) for a sibling with the violence he committed. This quote was so powerful: “I love my brother—and—my brother killed our mother.” Vince shares what it was like to go through Timothy’s trial and the impact on each family member. This was a very personal look into a family’s dark moments. One fascinating part for me was reading about anosognosia, which is where someone is unaware of their illness, they don’t think anything is wrong with them. This was so well explained by the author that I feel I have a slightly better understanding of schizophrenia. I don’t read a lot of memoirs, but the description for this one compelled me to read it as I want to learn more about mental illness and minimize the stigma. This memoir is well written, although very difficult to read at times. This is a book I won’t forget anytime soon and I think it would make an excellent book to discuss. Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    Will stay with me forever. Thank you to the author who shared a personal tragedy with the rest of us. Hopefully the compassion and yet seriousness of mental illness is more understood

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    The book follows the author's family's story and explores how they were impacted by schizophrenia. Most of the book involves his younger brother Tim who became ill right after starting college, and how his illness progressed over several years. There were many challenges to getting Tim the care that he needed. Tragically, he began having hallucinations that involved their mother and killed her. The book reconstructs how the author's family arrived at that tragic day and then tracked how they sur The book follows the author's family's story and explores how they were impacted by schizophrenia. Most of the book involves his younger brother Tim who became ill right after starting college, and how his illness progressed over several years. There were many challenges to getting Tim the care that he needed. Tragically, he began having hallucinations that involved their mother and killed her. The book reconstructs how the author's family arrived at that tragic day and then tracked how they survived and grieved in the aftermath. Clearly, there's a traumatic, emotional story here, but the way the author tells it is very gripping and vivid. I felt like I was there, all the details of his home and everything he discovered through his research. It's incredible how he made his tragedy come alive on the page so that I shared in his pain. I love how the author talked about his male friends organizing and rallying together around him. I don't get many examples of amazing, deep male friendships, not the kind of friendships we see in women's stories. It was amazing to see how the author's friends showed up when he needed them. To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/vin...

  6. 4 out of 5

    afewsocks

    This book was a suprising emotional tour back through my own life (and that of my brother's) as well as Granata's life. So many similarities. Though my family has not sustained such a loss, there is still the ongoing loss of a brother whose mental illness, quietly and loudly, shaped our family. All the 'what ifs' and regrets and grief around what we all lost, what we continue to lose. It's so painful to face all of it, but that's what Granata works to share - the transformative power of facing o This book was a suprising emotional tour back through my own life (and that of my brother's) as well as Granata's life. So many similarities. Though my family has not sustained such a loss, there is still the ongoing loss of a brother whose mental illness, quietly and loudly, shaped our family. All the 'what ifs' and regrets and grief around what we all lost, what we continue to lose. It's so painful to face all of it, but that's what Granata works to share - the transformative power of facing our pain and fears. It was incredibly comforting too. Schizophrenia is an insidious thief. Granta brought anosognosia (an unawareness of one's own mental health condition or that they can’t perceive their condition accurately) to my attention, something I'd never heard of but definitely experienced in my brother. He is MIA somewhere in the world today and my heart breaks thinking of his isolation and loneliness and how we have failed him. Granata has written a gift of a book to anyone touched by schizophrenia and I'm so grateful to have read it and taken time to sit with my own grief alongside this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Long

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is heartbreaking, horrifying, and very important. Vince Granata tells his story well. His brother's descent into schizophrenia is fascinating and scary. Its importance is great in today's world of misunderstood mental illness. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is heartbreaking, horrifying, and very important. Vince Granata tells his story well. His brother's descent into schizophrenia is fascinating and scary. Its importance is great in today's world of misunderstood mental illness.

  8. 5 out of 5

    False

    I would rename this book "Everything is NOT Fine." I only read it because it was on a list of "current books you should be reading," which is usually an alarm for me to not be reading them, given my tastes; i.e. not of the general populace. It reminds me of a friend who's father killed his wife (my friend's mother) and then himself. Now, his son goes around on Facebook boasting of his father's past (work) and comments about "he's my hero," when the bald truth is that he killed his wife and then I would rename this book "Everything is NOT Fine." I only read it because it was on a list of "current books you should be reading," which is usually an alarm for me to not be reading them, given my tastes; i.e. not of the general populace. It reminds me of a friend who's father killed his wife (my friend's mother) and then himself. Now, his son goes around on Facebook boasting of his father's past (work) and comments about "he's my hero," when the bald truth is that he killed his wife and then cowardly (some hero) killed himself. I keep silently saying, "Some day this is going to catch up with you and grind you to dust." I'm not a big fan of seeking help through phases of crises as they usually don't have anything to tell you that you don't know--if you have the courage to face it. Which my friend is not. I wonder about this author. His schizophrenic brother murdered their mother, yet he lives, under lockdown. This is way too complicated to dissect in a simple book review. I've seen parents who will wear themselves down into a nub, dealing with adult children with mental illness. Somehow feeling responsible for this creature. The mother was warned she could be in danger. She went into denial saying he would never harm her. I guess he showed her. His sister is a mess now, his father an aged shell. Yet he goes to visit his brother and keep that channel open, not wanting his brother to feel abandoned. I've seen "children" like this wipe family's out, not just through murder, but their psychosis, freewheeling spending, out of pocket medical expenses not covered, physical harm. I could tell twenty quick stories in this review, each a nightmare, and in the end? You have to make your choices. The author choses to remain in touch with his sibling, due to what? As he said, his mother would never see him married, never hold her grandchildren. In truth, he's been robbed, and do you stay in contact with the thief? I am sure many would agree with the author's humanitarian approach to all of this, but having seen it firsthand? Sometimes you need to cut your losses and close the door.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I’m DNFing at page 174. I could not connect to this emotionally and I have had no interest in picking up where I left off. I received an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher for review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katie Avagliano

    I was lucky to read this book in pieces as it trickled into the non-fiction classes at our shared MFA program. We all knew Vince had to write this story, and I’m so happy to see what a wonderfully deep and rich book it’s become.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    i didn’t manage to get through this before the license expired for my arc (thanks, school) and i don’t see it on my library’s website so into the dnf pile it goes edit: found it at the library, will get back to it eventually

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Everything Is Fine by Vince Granata is a very engrossing, raw, real, and vulnerable personal memoir and telling of the author's own experiences that kept me reading well into late evening. This is the author's own story of his life experiences involving the tragic death of his own mother by his younger brother whom was dealing with paranoid schizophrenia. The events that the author presents is so haunting, stunning, heartbreaking, and eye-opening that it must be told. The author's ability to brin Everything Is Fine by Vince Granata is a very engrossing, raw, real, and vulnerable personal memoir and telling of the author's own experiences that kept me reading well into late evening. This is the author's own story of his life experiences involving the tragic death of his own mother by his younger brother whom was dealing with paranoid schizophrenia. The events that the author presents is so haunting, stunning, heartbreaking, and eye-opening that it must be told. The author's ability to bring all of these personal experiences into light is an important issue that is needed. Bringing forth more exposure to mental illness as a whole and how it not only affects the person, but their family and loved ones, is an issue that needs more attention and direction. I am forever changed by reading the author's personal story and am glad that he was able to share it with us. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Atria Books for this arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Claudine

    Yes, there will be tears reading this story and what is so special about the sharing of this grief is the poignancy, hope, keen insightfulness and awareness that reminds us of what remains of our humanity. Vince Granata inserts delicate and seemingly forgettable moments that pull the reader into his memories as if you are there sitting at the family’s kitchen table with the dogs sniffing at fallen table scraps. It feels odd to write that it was a beautiful read given this harrowing recounting of Yes, there will be tears reading this story and what is so special about the sharing of this grief is the poignancy, hope, keen insightfulness and awareness that reminds us of what remains of our humanity. Vince Granata inserts delicate and seemingly forgettable moments that pull the reader into his memories as if you are there sitting at the family’s kitchen table with the dogs sniffing at fallen table scraps. It feels odd to write that it was a beautiful read given this harrowing recounting of Granata’s brother while under psychosis killing their mother, but it did feel like such an honorable and touching tribute to their mother, family, friends and community to still remember the joys and strive for understanding while being true to themselves. For all the pain that occurred, the family is a testament to the capacity of gratitude and love. What an arc Granata takes us through from dissecting what do experiences become before a death to the processing of violence to the work of acceptance to be able to come out of the other side.

  14. 5 out of 5

    jocelyn • shesalreadybooked

    Many thanks to Atria Books for the gifted ARC of Everything is Fine, by Vince Granata. This comes out on April 27. TW: murder, mental illness (schizophrenia), substance abuse This is a stunning and heartbreaking memoir of Vince Granata as he chronicles the aftermath of his brother, Timothy, killing their mother propelled by undiagnosed schizophrenia. Following the tragic event, Vince begins to examine the disease and dive deeper into his brother’s story. This is a flat out heartbreaking novel wri Many thanks to Atria Books for the gifted ARC of Everything is Fine, by Vince Granata. This comes out on April 27. TW: murder, mental illness (schizophrenia), substance abuse This is a stunning and heartbreaking memoir of Vince Granata as he chronicles the aftermath of his brother, Timothy, killing their mother propelled by undiagnosed schizophrenia. Following the tragic event, Vince begins to examine the disease and dive deeper into his brother’s story. This is a flat out heartbreaking novel written so incredibly beautifully it brought me to tears. The level of compassion Vince had towards his brother despite the horrible turn of events is exactly how we should treat those with mental illnesses. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is often glossed over or over-dramatised in society and is often what people think of as “crazy.” It is a devastating illness that impacts each person differently but can impact an entire family in unique ways. This is an example of the system failing a patient that needed help, and this happens far too often. Read this book at your own discretion, it is not an easy read, but it is profound and impactful, and one that will stick with me. Thank you Vince Granata for sharing such a deeply personal story. I hope it will help others.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This will be the memoir that everyone is talking about in 2021. Loss and grief are multifaceted things and, in this case, even more so. Vince Granata lost his mother in 2014. She was not the victim of her own disease, but the disease ravishing the mind of one of her children. Vince’s younger brother, suffering from unchecked schizophrenia, murdered their mother in their home one hot July day. In Everything is Fine, Vince shares the shock of this news, his memories of his brother and mother befor This will be the memoir that everyone is talking about in 2021. Loss and grief are multifaceted things and, in this case, even more so. Vince Granata lost his mother in 2014. She was not the victim of her own disease, but the disease ravishing the mind of one of her children. Vince’s younger brother, suffering from unchecked schizophrenia, murdered their mother in their home one hot July day. In Everything is Fine, Vince shares the shock of this news, his memories of his brother and mother before the murder, and his convoluted path of grief and acceptance. The details of the Granata family’s pain are difficult to read, but Vince conveys it all poetically. He is transparent in the thoughts he wrestled with throughout and shares a number of pertinent facts about the mental health system, with all of its shortcomings, and the disease that claimed his brother’s mind. It’s worth noting that he makes it clear that schizophrenia and violent crime are not quick to go hand in hand and he advocates for a better understanding of the illness, as a whole. Knowing that a parent can fight so hard for her child’s mental health only to have it result in her murder is heartbreaking and terrifying. I don’t think there is an easy solution to such things or that anyone necessarily failed anyone else here. It seems everyone did the best they could with the tools at their disposal. That’s what makes it all the more tragic. We are all so limited in what we can give and push for, although the guilt of hindsight often cruelly suggests we could have done more. Vince Granata’s writing flows beautifully. While tragedy guided him into this cathartic endeavor, it is clear he was born to be a writer. His ability to express himself this way shines through. He broke me several times as he aptly pulled me into the storm of his emotions. He broke me one final time as I read the last few lines of his acknowledgments. His love for his entire family was apparent, but his admiration of his mother and grace toward his struggling brother were, more than anything, the pulse of the narrative. Although this was one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read, I could close it and walk away when it was over. It isn’t my devastating story; the thing I’m forced to breathe in and live with every day. The Granata family will never be able to choose the same. To read a book like this runs the risk of discomfort, but it also promises to nourish compassion and growth. If my prediction in the beginning of this review is wrong - if this isn’t the memoir of the year - the reading community will be making a terrible mistake. You need to get to know Vince and his family. This is a story of anguish that needed to be told; a story we all need to better comprehend. You can find all of my book reviews, lots of other fun bookish content, and the occasional ramblings about movies right here: https://www.facebook.com/abookishbutt...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Mumford

    One of my top three favorite books of all time is Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much is True. I read IKTMIT in 2000. I make references to this book several times a year and often recommend to friends. The limited series of this book starring Kathryn Hahn and Mark Ruffalo was very exciting to see become a reality recently, as dark and unsettling the content. Much of this novel flashed before me while reading this book, a book that I have just completed but cannot even remember the name. I dont think I One of my top three favorite books of all time is Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much is True. I read IKTMIT in 2000. I make references to this book several times a year and often recommend to friends. The limited series of this book starring Kathryn Hahn and Mark Ruffalo was very exciting to see become a reality recently, as dark and unsettling the content. Much of this novel flashed before me while reading this book, a book that I have just completed but cannot even remember the name. I dont think I will remember the book after this year. Im surprised given the very positive reviews. The memoir and account of the main character amd brother Tim are so incredibly touching and painful to the very last words. IKTMIT was fiction, but the truth from this memoir is so devastating. The truths of so many families pained from loved ones touched with schizophrenia. This is what i will remember from this book. There was something about the writing that I did not like - I can’t put my finger on it, but there was a blandness that I hope I can avoid in my own writing. The first-person perspective seemed stagnant and didn’t push the story along where I would/could care more about these characters. For me, the writing needed more.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Franz

    I don't even know what to say about this book, other than it spoke to me as the child of a murdered parent. The pain and fear the author writes about were the same for me, even though the circumstances were different. I don't even know what to say about this book, other than it spoke to me as the child of a murdered parent. The pain and fear the author writes about were the same for me, even though the circumstances were different.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    “I love my brother—and—my brother killed our mother.” The mind, man. What a fickle beast. It is simply fascinating. I knew within the first 3 pages of this book that it would be a five star read for me. I stand by that initial assessment. And also, I am sufficiently creeped out. As I started this book I was wearing a Yale New Haven Hospital fleece, the hospital where his brother was treated. Vince and his family vacationed in the same area of the Cape that I did as a child and that my parents now “I love my brother—and—my brother killed our mother.” The mind, man. What a fickle beast. It is simply fascinating. I knew within the first 3 pages of this book that it would be a five star read for me. I stand by that initial assessment. And also, I am sufficiently creeped out. As I started this book I was wearing a Yale New Haven Hospital fleece, the hospital where his brother was treated. Vince and his family vacationed in the same area of the Cape that I did as a child and that my parents now reside in. I attended his prep schools rival. And despite this happening in my state, neither my husband nor I remember this tragedy. This one hits close. “I saw his psychosis as a shroud covering his recent history, concealing the final months when his illness had festered untreated, his madness putrefying his brain.” This book is raw and unfiltered and devastatingly honest. I devoured it and cannot recommend it highly enough. You would be hard pressed to find a single person out there who has not been touched by mental illness in some way. Although this story is an extreme case it is, unfortunately, not unheard of. Thank you to Netgalley, Atria Books and the author for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Vince Granata's memoir EVERYTHING IS FINE charts a tragedy in his family that touches on mental illnesses, grief, and resilience. Vince is the oldest child in his family. His mother then gives birth to triplets: Chris, Elizabeth, and Timothy. The triplets are very close, and Vince relishes his older brother role. Very early in the book, Vince describes the act that occurs- Timothy, in the throws of unmedicated psychosis, kills their mother brutally in their home. He then backtracks to chart Tim' Vince Granata's memoir EVERYTHING IS FINE charts a tragedy in his family that touches on mental illnesses, grief, and resilience. Vince is the oldest child in his family. His mother then gives birth to triplets: Chris, Elizabeth, and Timothy. The triplets are very close, and Vince relishes his older brother role. Very early in the book, Vince describes the act that occurs- Timothy, in the throws of unmedicated psychosis, kills their mother brutally in their home. He then backtracks to chart Tim's journey from childhood to the violent act, and then the aftermath of his trial. We learn about Tim's passion for wrestling and is an excellent student (even approaching Dean's List during the beginnings of his mental decline). While both parents are supportive, he is very close with his mother. The author describes Tim's prodromal phase of illness exceeding well, which is an area that is not often well-studied/described. It is heartbreaking that after his hospitalization, he goes off his medication and quickly decompensates. His family is worried about him, but fear calling the police due to their absolutely justified fear of what they might do to Tim (a sad state of our world). After Tim is taken in by the police and is hospitalized in order to stabilize him to be competent to stand trial, Vince starts visiting him, as he wants to learn more about why he killed their mother, but also knowing that their mother want want him to visit Tim. This book reminds me a bit of HIDDEN FAMILY ROAD (fantastic book by Robert Kolker) in that it highlights a very personal experience of mental illness (and its effects on both afflicted and non-afflicted family members) as well as informational knowledge about schizophrenia which may provide insight to others. He goes to great lengths to say that individuals with serious mental illness are rarely violent, and if so, it is usually self-directed. He also differentiates violence due to psychosis versus a violent act from someone who may have mental health issues that may be used as an excuse for behavior (e.g., Charleston shooter ultimately just a racist). Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for this advance reader copy in exchange for honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jane Dennish

    I applaud Vince Granata on his debut novel and on the fact that he tackles a tough subject on so many levels. The topic of mental health is so important and awareness is needed. He takes a look at it in a way that I hope others do not have to in the future. His brother has Schizoprenia and it causes delusions that lead him to kill his mother. This is known from the back cover. What is a surprise is Vince's ability to continue a relationship with his brother after the devastating circumstances th I applaud Vince Granata on his debut novel and on the fact that he tackles a tough subject on so many levels. The topic of mental health is so important and awareness is needed. He takes a look at it in a way that I hope others do not have to in the future. His brother has Schizoprenia and it causes delusions that lead him to kill his mother. This is known from the back cover. What is a surprise is Vince's ability to continue a relationship with his brother after the devastating circumstances that take place. I cannot imagine putting myself in Vince's shoes or being as understanding as he is. His writing is powerful. You can tell he loves his brother and is deperately seeking the right way to approach his brother, live with his brother and help him to become better, just like his mom did in her lifetime. It is touching and hard to read at the same time, not due to the writing, but due to the subject matter. I wish he had touched more on his other brother and his sister, but his experiences were not their experiences, even though they shared the same trauma, it was different for each of them, so I understand the reason for not developing that part of the story. I am left wondering where his brother, Tim, will end up in life, and I am also left wondering how we as a society can do better so this does not happen again. What is the answer to this disease? Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Shuster and Atria for the ecopy!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    In stunningly raw and vivid prose, Vince Granata examines the tragedy that ripped his family apart in his ironically titled memoir, EVERYTHING IS FINE. Writing about mental illness, grief and the systems that prevent real care for those who suffer, Granata covers the full spectrum of human emotion --- from anger to shame, forgiveness to hope, and everything in between. Granata was four years old the day his mother and father came home with his three new siblings: Christopher, Timothy and Elizabet In stunningly raw and vivid prose, Vince Granata examines the tragedy that ripped his family apart in his ironically titled memoir, EVERYTHING IS FINE. Writing about mental illness, grief and the systems that prevent real care for those who suffer, Granata covers the full spectrum of human emotion --- from anger to shame, forgiveness to hope, and everything in between. Granata was four years old the day his mother and father came home with his three new siblings: Christopher, Timothy and Elizabeth. In an instant his family doubled in size, and he proudly and exuberantly took on the role of older brother. Twenty-three years later, Tim would violently kill their mother, the penultimate moment of his increasingly erratic and disturbing battle with schizophrenia, forever changing the fabric of the Granata family’s lives and forcing each of them to confront Tim’s mental illness. In the aftermath, Granata pieces together his family’s history from the day the triplets came home to the day his mother died on their family room floor, asking how such a joy-filled event --- the miraculous birth of three desperately wanted children --- could start the countdown to murder. Granata is an expert curator of memories. Despite the horror that we know is coming for his family, he is able to relay warm, happy memories from his youth to introduce readers to Tim. With humor and heart, he talks about the way his father sheathed the family furniture in pink foam board when the triplets started to walk; the way his mother walked them around on a leash (their “tails”) so that they could experience the world together; and even the fights in which he and his siblings displayed their childhood might, protected by bouncy foam weapons. It is clear from the start that Granata always took his role as a big brother seriously. How could he not, with so many young charges looking up to him and following his lead? Even as a child, Granata often found himself aligned with his parents, while the triplets formed alliances among themselves, with Chris and Tim becoming the closest of brothers and best friends. The Granatas, an upper middle-class family, had disposable income, access to good health care, food on the table, and plenty of extracurriculars to keep the children busy and well-rounded. So how could Tim’s mental illness have snuck its way into their lives? As Granata tells it, Tim’s shift started in high school, an almost impossible time to make any real evaluations of a person’s mental health or grip on reality. Tim, a brick house of a boy, went from playing football to lifting weights to dominating his school’s wrestling team, a feat that earned him the respect of his peers, who adored him as a gentle giant. He spoke in funny accents in class, carried his injured brother off a football field and performed in jazz ensembles. But all the while, “Tim was accelerating. Somehow it started, on an atomic level, a single cell, something misfiring, an electron hitting the wrong synapse, a chemical imbalance slowly putrefying his brain.” This fracturing of his psyche continued in college, first diagnosed as “severe depression” and later as psychosis NOS, “not otherwise specified.” Writing with the grit of a journalist, Granata quickly breaks down the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the bible of psychology) definition of schizophrenia and psychosis, and how people suffering from single psychotic episodes and others descending rapidly into madness are grouped under the same umbrella, often in ways that put them in danger. As Tim’s mental illness continues to take hold, first in suicidal ideation and later in an obsession with good and evil and the depravity that divides them, Granata highlights how his schizophrenia starts to work on separating him from the world. First, his illness adopts a malleable religious language, a “spiritual vocabulary that [animates] his delusions,” convincing him that others are corrupt, that he cannot connect with his peers. At first this helps Tim shape the world he struggles to recognize. But, as Granata comes to learn, it goes hand-in-hand with anosognosia, a form of denial that is neurologically programmed into the minds of the mentally ill that forces them to create and accept illogical explanations for the symptoms of their diseases. Writing from a brother’s perspective, Granata painstakingly details how difficult this hardwired denial is to combat. Even more eloquently, he describes his --- and his family’s --- comprehension of the early symptoms of Tim’s illness as delusions themselves. Having never dealt with a mental illness as destructive and devastating as Tim’s, it is easy for Granata to feel angry at Tim’s denial, take too much stock in his brief moments of lucidity, or, even worse, poke holes in his careful understandings of the world his brain has created. Delusions beget delusions beget delusions, all as the medical community turned a blind eye to the powder keg that was building in the Granata home. Writing about the day of his mother’s murder, Granata is clear-eyed, almost too graphic. He provides a detailed timeline and the thoughts that took hold of his brother, who by then believed that his parents had sexually abused him as a child. I won’t share the details of that day here, but what happens after is one of the most powerful, transformative bits of writing I have ever had the honor of reading. As Granata writes, “At first, I fought back, tried to separate my life into before and after, as though memories were photographs to sort into albums.” When he breaks through this linear way of thinking and focuses instead on the complex and layered emotions that drive memory, the book takes on a somehow even more shocking and earth-shattering tension as he moves toward honoring his mother, forgiving his brother and finding himself in the process. EVERYTHING IS FINE is an immediately gripping book, not least for its ripped-from-the-headlines topic. But this is no shock-value memoir by someone looking to trauma dump their story into the lives of others with no follow-up. Granata is an eerily prescient writer who is able to look at the big picture of even the smallest, most tender and intimate moments. What is so impressive about this book is not the shock and horror of what happened to Tim or what he did to his mother, but the ways that Granata is able to weave a tapestry of loss --- Tim’s loss of his control, his mother’s loss of life, Chris’ loss of his best friend and womb-mate --- into something that perfectly demonstrates the ways that we have failed our mentally ill neighbors and the families who love them. Through his salvaging of the Tim he grew up with (which is not easy, not taken or given lightly), Granata is able to explore decades of reform in mental illness care, the changing bonds of familial love, and, of course, the binds of grief and anger. Haunting, poignant and eye-opening, EVERYTHING IS FINE is a testament not only to a brother’s love, but to a family’s ability to heal. Vince Granata is a cadenced, courageous writer you won’t soon forget. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 𝑰 𝒊𝒎𝒂𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑻𝒊𝒎’𝒔 𝒑𝒔𝒚𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒊𝒔, 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒄𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒎𝒂𝒅𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔 𝒎𝒚 𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒊𝒂𝒏𝒐 𝒕𝒓𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒐𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒐𝒘𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅. Vince Granata’s mother was murdered at the hands of his mentally ill brother, this is a brutal fact, but what makes this memoir important for society and keeps it from sensationalizing his family’s tragedy, is the exploration of what brought them to this point. We read the headli via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 𝑰 𝒊𝒎𝒂𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑻𝒊𝒎’𝒔 𝒑𝒔𝒚𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒊𝒔, 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒄𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒎𝒂𝒅𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔 𝒎𝒚 𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒊𝒂𝒏𝒐 𝒕𝒓𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒐𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒐𝒘𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅. Vince Granata’s mother was murdered at the hands of his mentally ill brother, this is a brutal fact, but what makes this memoir important for society and keeps it from sensationalizing his family’s tragedy, is the exploration of what brought them to this point. We read the headlines, horrified, make assumptions but most people never go much further than judgement. Claudia Granata was a victim of her son’s psychosis but that doesn’t tell the story of everything that became before and after. That doesn’t inform anyone that Tim, too, was a victim of his own psychosis. Such headlines seem to exist in a manner that erases the dedicated, loving mother who did everything she could to keep her son’s world safe. Yes, Claudia was a highly educated medical doctor, as is her surviving husband Attilio, but even with their means and education their son’s illness couldn’t be managed, and they did try. The day before her death, she spoke to a therapist who warned her to make her son feel safe and ‘be wary’. Their fear was that he would harm himself, as he had threatened to before when the noise in his head became too much to bear. Sadly, she couldn’t have imagined what was coming. Vince writes about the signs they all neglected to see far earlier than his illness began presenting, and his shame at missed opportunities as a big brother and son. Just as any of us would rake over our own fears of guilt in the aftermath of tragedy, he attempts to pinpoint the pivotal moment when one step in the right direction could have changed the outcome. By sharing his brother Tim’s mental decline, it may well help other families going through similar struggles. The reality is, there is so much we do not understand about mental illness in all its forms, especially schizophrenia, which in Tim’s case went unchecked. What can be done when a patient refuses their meds, because they think they don’t need them, because that’s how the disease presents itself? You think you’re fine, better, cured. What is a person to do who lives each day with a distorted reality? We don’t think about how our perception, yes all of us, creates our world- it’s easier to draw a line from the ‘healthy’ and the ‘ill’ instead of thinking we could ever have any commonalities. All of us base our reality on what our inner voice tells us, what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears, we just happen to have the clear functioning, for the most part, of measuring ourselves against others, which keeps us grounded. How differently would we behave, think, feel if we had voices howling at us that someone has abused us, or were demons? How would we react during hallucinations others don’t see but are real for us? Even if it presents in less threatening ways, the fact remains the such illnesses push the patient further away from others, even distrusting our own devoted, worried mothers. Much of the time others push those coping with mental illness away to the fringes of our world, out of fear or ignorance of the condition. Is it really a shock that isolation feels like the only safe haven? It is often in self isolation that the disease grows stronger, overtaking what grasp on reality still remains. Loved ones best efforts sometimes aren’t enough, it’s truly being between a rock and a hard place if a patient is an adult. You cannot force treatment, and the illness can cause paranoia, distrust of even those who truly have nothing but your best interest at heart. Vince’s memoir is not intended as medical research but aside from the patient themselves, who better than those who have been witness to the slow creep of the disease to give testimony? Granata knows that mental illness still has a stigma, and that we can’t move forward shaming people who carry the burden of the disease. Why are we kinder to people who have visible illnesses? Why don’t we, as a society, understand that mental illness, though complicated and not fully understood, is not any more shameful than any other disease? Even people with the best resources, medical education are lost at sea in trying to help their loved one learn how to treat and manage their mental illness. With memories and stories of Tim we see him not as the monster his horrific act (while suffering psychosis, we must keep in mind) makes him appear to be but as a beloved son and brother who had athletic gifts and promise of his own. I read this as a mother would, there was never a point Claudia gave up. How do you arrive at justice in such a case, when everyone loses? This is not the future she wanted for her son, nor can anyone imagine she would want to see him demonized for the horrors of that ill fated day. What about the healing, how does Vince’s family and yes, Tim included, move forward from here? How does Vince remember the beautiful woman his mother was without the savagery of her final moments poisoning the past? It’s a question he had to ask himself. He cannot honor his mother’s memory without shedding light on who his brother Tim really is when not in the grips of psychosis because he was her heart as much as Vince and his siblings. I don’t have enough words to describe how much this memoir touched me. I know I drone on in this review, but that’s how moving I found it to be, and very relatable. My own son was diagnosed with autism at a young age and anything that’s ‘different’ changes how people treat you, I saw this first hand, even when people try to fit in. It is a daily struggle for him more than any of us. I also understand the scope of a mother’s love, the reach of her heart, her fears and hopes and that she is willing to sacrifice anything to help her children. I think of how my own grandmother had to navigate her son’s schizophrenia, he never stayed on his meds for long past release from hospitalizations. It affected the entire makeup of the family, it could just as easily be a story that could have happened to them. Today there have been more advances, but not leaps. Family has front row seats to the constant fight, it is a helpless, heartbreaking feeling. Vince’s brother was a collegiate heavyweight wrestler, but his fiercest opponent has been his own mind. Vince’s story does not minimize the enormity of Tim’s act, but it’s not a simple case. This memoir is about family bonds, grief, the realities and struggles of mental health, and tragedy but most of all it about about love and forgiveness. I don’t believe the description of Claudia’s end will be what remains with me, but the vision of a loving mother playing the piano to calm the storm in her son’s mind. Yes read it! Publication Date: April 27, 2021 Atria Books

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Lindsay

    {Special thanks to Atria Books for this review copy} Follow along with my author interviews, including this one, to be featured in May at: www.leslielindsay.com|Always with a Book. An extraordinarily moving memoir about a family ripped from balance at the hands of a severally mentally ill individual, EVERYTHING IS FINE (Atria, April 2021) is about grief, mental illness, mothers and sons, and so much more. I finished this book last night and I am so moved and yet, simultaneously disturbed. It's one {Special thanks to Atria Books for this review copy} Follow along with my author interviews, including this one, to be featured in May at: www.leslielindsay.com|Always with a Book. An extraordinarily moving memoir about a family ripped from balance at the hands of a severally mentally ill individual, EVERYTHING IS FINE (Atria, April 2021) is about grief, mental illness, mothers and sons, and so much more. I finished this book last night and I am so moved and yet, simultaneously disturbed. It's one of the most gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, authentic memoirs I've read in a long time. This family will stay with me. Vince Granata recalls standing in front of his suburban home, chalk in hand, as he greeted his mother and father and three siblings (triplets) home from the hospital. The family had just doubled in size. He was ecstatic; finally: playmates, siblings. But twenty-three years later, one of those siblings--Tim--will develop severe mental illness--likely schizophrenia. He's plaqued by paranoid delusions, an obsession over religion, philosophy, and morality. He talks about suicide and death and how he might not 'make it' to the 4th of July...and if he doesn't, well, then, it's the 'demons' that made him do it. On a hot July day, at the family's home, Tim brutally kills their mother. They were alone in the house, things were 'fine,' and then...they weren't. Vince is over a thousand miles away, his father is at work, his sister at the mall shopping for suitable clothing for an upcoming interview. Now, this family is change forever. Told with great compassion and willpower, Vince Granata takes this very painful experience and weaves it into a narrative that will tug at your heartstrings, but also have you questioning and worried for the 'system.' The prose is stark, precise, and yet lyrical at times, EVERYTHING IS FINE captures the raw emotion, internal hurdles to overcoming grief, as well as loyalties to one's mother but also brother, and the rest of the family. Here, the author takes it upon himself to examine the disease that plaqued his brother, reads reams of medical notes, visits him in a criminally insane psychiatric unit, and more. Here, the entire family's trajectory is thrown off balance, but in the end, it's a gorgeous tribute to a well-loved mother, a portrait of loss and even, forgiveness. I was reminded of HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD by Robert Kolker as I read EVERYTHING IS FINE and also found touches of HE CAME WITH IT (Miriam Feldman) in terms of a young man afflicted with schizophrenia, but also, readers may appreiate Ron Powers's NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE. For all my reviews, including author interviews (Vince will be on my Q&A series in May 2021), I invite you to: www.leslielindsay.com|Always with a Book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    lexi ✨

    wow.. this was an extremely heavy read. i can't imagine how hard this was for vince granata to write, sort through & re-live, but i really hope this memoir helped him in some way. vince granata uses this memoir as a way to navigate through all the trauma, fear, & anger of his mother being murdered by his schizophrenic brother tim, but he does it in a way where he explores his own feelings & emotions, & goes in depth to try to salvage the good, pure & happy memories of tim & his mother. now, this d wow.. this was an extremely heavy read. i can't imagine how hard this was for vince granata to write, sort through & re-live, but i really hope this memoir helped him in some way. vince granata uses this memoir as a way to navigate through all the trauma, fear, & anger of his mother being murdered by his schizophrenic brother tim, but he does it in a way where he explores his own feelings & emotions, & goes in depth to try to salvage the good, pure & happy memories of tim & his mother. now, this does not mean this memoir is a walk in the park, it digs deep, at times it is very difficult to get through, but i think that's what makes it strong. i have never read anything like this before.. i think vince was very transparent & very willing to be open about how he sorts through his thoughts. he goes through his fears of tim being violent, he cycles through projecting his anger, having memory loss from trauma, overthinking all the possible "what ifs" & outcomes if him & his siblings came home sooner, & his alcoholism to drown his grief. his story was very fluid, it flowed exceptionally, even though he was writing about his healing processes which were anything but linear. i appreciated being able to read about vince's trauma & fear and how they clouded a lot of his pure memories & the ways he tried to get back to them. i also appreciated the fact that he took the time to discuss the link between untreated serious mental illness & violence through the role of psychosis & how important it is to not stigmatize mental health. i really liked how he described the grieving processes his brother chris & his sister lizzie went through & how that changed their relationship with tim, because every single person in the granata family had their own way of grieving, their own ways of communicating with each other after the fact, & i felt that was very important to include because not everyone grieves & experiences trauma in the same ways. he goes into detail about anosognosia, which in brief is the lack of ability to perceive one's own realities of a condition. in this case it was tim's schizophenia that was being examined & you could just tell that vince really tried to learn as much as possible to try to get closer in understanding tim's illness even though it is difficult. i even learned from vince's explanation of the term. overall, it's definitely a memoir that carries a lot of pain, grief, trauma, & healing, but it is very real, vince does not try to sugar coat anything, he really tries to search for answers within himself & takes his time to analyze everything about this traumatic experience. everything down to the title just holds so much significance. - arc provided via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  25. 4 out of 5

    MMC1

    "Everything is Fine", the title of the book, comes from a phrase that the author's mother would use at the beginning of her messages to let her son know that there was no crisis going on in the family. Yet, everything is their family was far from fine... This is a memoir of someone's life that is ripped apart by an unthinkable tragedy. It is the story of the author's family and the deterioration of his brother's life as he descends into the madness of schizophrenia. How the family deals with thi "Everything is Fine", the title of the book, comes from a phrase that the author's mother would use at the beginning of her messages to let her son know that there was no crisis going on in the family. Yet, everything is their family was far from fine... This is a memoir of someone's life that is ripped apart by an unthinkable tragedy. It is the story of the author's family and the deterioration of his brother's life as he descends into the madness of schizophrenia. How the family deals with this descent and the unswerving love of his mother towards her ill son and the tragedy that ensues. It is difficult to read in several parts, especially when the author goes into details of the tragedy. It is also hard to read as he describes the struggles month after month and even years later how the loss of his mother has affected him. I cried in many parts. His mother seems like an amazing person who was desperate to save her son and remained cautiously optimistic and hopeful until the end that his illness could be managed and that he would improve. I gave this book a 3-star rating for the main reason that I felt it teetered between trying to be a book about schizophrenia and a book about grief and healing. To me it fell short in the schizophrenia department. I have read many books on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. (I'm not sure why, I don't know anyone with the disorder - but I find the subject fascinating.) While this book describes the illness of schizophrenia, it is a description from an observer and not the individual themselves. I have read other books on schizophrenia where the story provides historical data on how the disorder was/is treated and other books that are first person accounts of living with the disorder. Books such as: Hidden Valley Road, The Center Can Not Hold, The Collected Schizophenias: Essays. Yes, the author does make the point that the medical system in the U.S. to treat this disorder is woefully inadequate. I could not agree more. The medical and legal community is not set up properly to assist those with serious mental illness or is able to provide adequate services/resources for those families dealing with a family member who suffers from this disorder. But to me this book was more about: grief, remembrance, the bond/love of a child to his mother, a mother's all consuming love for her child and her refusal to give up on that child. And about how to process grief and loss when the loss is by an unimaginable tragedy. The story is quite heartbreaking. Have tissues ready...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This book covers an important and often overlooked topic; mental health. It’s difficult to understand unless you’ve been through it yourself or stood by someone close to you in the throes of it. It can be all an consuming, life altering struggle with yourself and those who love you. This is a story of one such family, forever changed by mental illness. This was a poignant memoir, that told the story of the Granata family. At the center of the story is Tim Granata, who horrifically killed his moth This book covers an important and often overlooked topic; mental health. It’s difficult to understand unless you’ve been through it yourself or stood by someone close to you in the throes of it. It can be all an consuming, life altering struggle with yourself and those who love you. This is a story of one such family, forever changed by mental illness. This was a poignant memoir, that told the story of the Granata family. At the center of the story is Tim Granata, who horrifically killed his mother in their childhood home. Tim struggled with mental health issues, which was labeled as many things, ending in a schizophrenia diagnosis. The story is told by his older brother, Vince, who recalls the wonderful and memorable times during his childhood and growing up with his brother and other siblings. He also described some pivotal points where his brother began to shift and change into someone he didn’t know. He began to morph into someone unrecognizable, someone he couldn’t reconcile with the brother he had grown up with. He also shed some light on the ways the system failed his brother, which I think is an important topic. This story was heartbreaking. I could feel the many emotions portrayed, through the way Vince wove the story together from different time periods and drew the reader in to his world. I wish desperately his mother’s story didn’t have to end that way. So much pain and anguish for the family left behind in the aftermath of such a horrific act. Almost more than you’d think a person could take. But, I think some awareness and good can come from this story being shared. Mental health is often dismissed or overlooked and by the time someone pays attention, it’s too late. I definitely recommend this book to those who are open and ready to read this kind of content. It’s an important and memorable story. It’s a story of terrible loss, but also forgiveness and redemption in spite of it all. Unconditional love. (Trigger warning for death, murder and mental health struggles.) Thank you to NetGalley & Atria Books for the ARC.

  27. 5 out of 5

    the.unexpected.reader

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Right from the start of this book, Vince Granata recounts the day in which he got the tragic phone call - his mother had been murdered, murdered by his younger brother Tim who suffers from schizophrenia. Looking back, Vince remembers the day his parents brought home these tiny new siblings, a set of triplets - Tim, Elizabeth, and Christopher; announcing that meeting his new siblings was the greatest day of his life. As his recollections move forward, Vince singles out specific memories of Tim. Fro Right from the start of this book, Vince Granata recounts the day in which he got the tragic phone call - his mother had been murdered, murdered by his younger brother Tim who suffers from schizophrenia. Looking back, Vince remembers the day his parents brought home these tiny new siblings, a set of triplets - Tim, Elizabeth, and Christopher; announcing that meeting his new siblings was the greatest day of his life. As his recollections move forward, Vince singles out specific memories of Tim. From childhood, to being the powerhouse on the high school wrestling team, to college – where his schizophrenia started to take hold. How Tim would lift weights to help muffle the voices in his head. The ones that would twist his perception of reality. The ones that would make him believe things that hadn’t happened happen. His parents sought out help, but the severity of his mental illness needed much stronger and urgent help. Then one horrific day, when Vince's mother was home alone with Tim (she was too afraid to leave him by himself and was never worried that he’d ever hurt her) his voices got too loud for him to control. Who knew that this would be this day Tim would listen to them and kill one of people who loved him most unconditionally? It would take Tim years to fully remember details of that day. Vince, Tim, and the remaining family would have to listen to every painstaking detail of the case. Their love for the unwell brother mixed with the murder of their much-loved wife and mother. There are no sides to be taken here, for Vince it is only understanding and forgiveness. But the reality of all of this is, has had a harsh lasting effect on them all. Everything Is Fine is very well written. It’s a hard read, as I’m sure it was for Vince Granata to write it, and portrays the reality of growing up with a sibling with a mental illness. A big thanks to NetGalley and Atria for the opportunity to read this advanced copy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marc Bougharios

    This book is released on April 27, 2021 Part of my New Year's Resolution was to branch out and read more genres, and this was my first memoir. I think this book is very important and should be read by everyone. It is a raw and heart-breaking memoir narrating the familial life of Vince Granata, and the story of how his schizophrenic brother Tim killed his mother. As someone who hasn't read non-fiction before, I enjoyed this memoir very much. My biggest concern with non-fiction books is that they wo This book is released on April 27, 2021 Part of my New Year's Resolution was to branch out and read more genres, and this was my first memoir. I think this book is very important and should be read by everyone. It is a raw and heart-breaking memoir narrating the familial life of Vince Granata, and the story of how his schizophrenic brother Tim killed his mother. As someone who hasn't read non-fiction before, I enjoyed this memoir very much. My biggest concern with non-fiction books is that they would read like a biography, which personally I don't enjoy. But the narrative was very engaging and I almost forgot that I was reading a memoir and not a fiction book because the writing flowed very well. This novel teaches you a lot about schizophrenia and takes readers directly into Tim's mind as we internally witness his battle with this mental illness. I didn't know much about the illness itself going in, but I did learn a lot about it by the time I was finished. It explains Tim's thought process, their fears and their behaviours as well and even how the family around him becomes affected by this illness. This memoir is hard to forget and as you read along, we really become immersed in the story and the life of the Granata family. It raises all these questions about trauma and grief and at times puts its readers in the situation. What would we do if this horrific event happened in our lives? It's scary, but stylistically well-written, the words almost like poetry. Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Atria Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shelby Thompson

    Everything will not be fine after you read “Everything is Fine.” You will not be okay. You will be filled with grief, frustration, and anger, but also with understanding, empathy, and a deep admiration for this family that went through a level of pain unimaginable to most of us, yet was able to maintain their love for one another. In this memoir, Granata writes about the impact that the murder of his mother by his brother Tim, who has schizophrenia, has had on his family. Granata tells a story o Everything will not be fine after you read “Everything is Fine.” You will not be okay. You will be filled with grief, frustration, and anger, but also with understanding, empathy, and a deep admiration for this family that went through a level of pain unimaginable to most of us, yet was able to maintain their love for one another. In this memoir, Granata writes about the impact that the murder of his mother by his brother Tim, who has schizophrenia, has had on his family. Granata tells a story of how a family has to learn to grieve in different ways without tearing each other apart, all while trying to make sense of an awful crime committed by their son and brother. Unlike similar “true crime,” memoirs, this is not a story focused on the grisly details of the crime itself. Instead, it focuses on the failures of American health-care and policing systems that are not set up to deal with serious, long-term cases of psychosis, as well as what it takes for a family to come back together in order to support the person they love the most, regardless of his crime. Granata draws clear lines between which stories are his to tell, and which are not. He is especially respectful of his brother and sister, Tim’s triplet siblings, who react in different ways to the death of their mother. The level of empathy and love extended towards Tim here is something I’ve rarely seen in a book, even those that cover serious mental illness. You’ll come away from this incredibly sad, but in a way that makes you believe more than ever that familial love really is the most powerful force on earth.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Snead

    Everything is Fine by Vince Granada This book is heartbreaking! It is about the true story of a loving mother of 4 that is murdered by the hands of one of her own sons. Vince is the oldest son and the author of this book. Tim is the younger son who suffers from a mental illness known as paranoia schizophrenia. This book is so well written and based on memories Vince had from early childhood through the terrible murder of his mother and his brother Tim’s trial. It’s a vivid look into the lives of Everything is Fine by Vince Granada This book is heartbreaking! It is about the true story of a loving mother of 4 that is murdered by the hands of one of her own sons. Vince is the oldest son and the author of this book. Tim is the younger son who suffers from a mental illness known as paranoia schizophrenia. This book is so well written and based on memories Vince had from early childhood through the terrible murder of his mother and his brother Tim’s trial. It’s a vivid look into the lives of those living with someone who suffers from a serious mental health issue. Vince describes with deep emotion and love for each family member the hardship they endured. There is mention of suicide, fear, confusion, frustration, anger, embarrassment, sadness, love and forgiveness throughout. Vince shares his family’s struggles living with a family member who suffers from mental illness. It also reflects on how broken our systems are in treating and guiding such individuals through psychotic episodes. This memoir will stay with me forever! I feel as though I’ve experienced all the trauma and grief with this family. However I know their pain is so much more. Excellent memoir that I hope brings peace and healing to Vince and the Granada family! I highly recommend this book!! Special thanks to @netgalley and @atriabooks for sharing this arc in exchange for an honest review!

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