Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Blog Tour || Something Changed by Matthew Williams - Book Review


While I do tend to read quite a lot, one area that I seem to neglect is non-fiction. So when the opportunity came to be involved in the blog tour for the non-fiction, self-help/autobiography hybrid Something Changed, I was very excited to take part.


Blurb


Life can change forever in a moment...

In the aftermath of marriage breakdown how do we pick ourselves up and start again?

In August 2014 Matthew Williams was forced to do just that. In Something Changed he navigates us through his journey with wit and wisdom, taking in divorce, dating and self-discovery while facing the dark spectre of depression.

Hopes and fears, laughter and tears - all are encountered along the way to learning some important lessons about love, loss and life.

'Have you ever noticed how life's biggest lessons are also the most painful? Maybe that's just life's way of making sure we don't forget them...'



About The Author


Matthew Williams is an author, blogger, speaker and coach. He lives in the North East of England with his two young children. Matthew is passionate about positive change and turning life's challenges into lessons for creating a better future. He hopes that by writing about his own experiences he will be able to inspire others to make positive changes in their lives.

Something Changed is Matthew's first book. More of his writing can be found at his blog, Love, Laughter & Truth.



My Review


Something Changed is a chronicle of Matthew Williams' journey through divorce, depression and dating. The book is neatly divided into parts dealing with each topic, recording Matthew's thoughts and experiences with these life-changing situations. 

As I mentioned, reading non-fiction is a bit unusual for me. However the topic of mental health is very close to my heart, so I was intrigued to see how it was handled, and I was not disappointed. Matthew is breathtakingly honest about his two severe bouts of depression, and lays bare exactly what this illness is like to experience. I can't honestly think of a more detailed, vulnerable portrayal of 'the black dog' in anything I have come across. As this is something I suffer with to this day, reading about the positive strides he has made in dealing with and overcoming this cruel illness was so uplifting; it made me want to leap forward into finding my own path to wellness. I also really valued the fact that this kind of honesty was coming from a man: we have a long way to go in tackling male mental health, but people like Matthew are breaking down barriers and showing other men that there is a way out of the darkness.

Being married and not (yet) divorced, I didn't think I'd relate as strongly to the section on divorce, but I actually found this incredibly moving and even useful too. I can't imagine that much comes close to the pain and upheaval of divorce, but Matthew is never self-pitying. He is reflective, questioning and at a loss, as I'm sure we'd all be in the same situation, but he is never bitter or acrimonious. He acknowledges and accepts the heartache, learns from it and takes it forward into his 'adventures' with dating. I hope that if my own marriage ever comes to an end in a similar way (*touches wood furiously*) that I can be as dignified and strong as Matthew is.

(As an aside, being the daughter of two warring parents, I also adored how much emphasis Matthew puts on ensuring the happiness of his children.)

Matthew writes beautifully, with a mixture of self-deprecation, wit, and a healthy dose of confidence and pride in what he's been through and where he's now headed. I liked that he could lay bare exactly how awful things have been for him, but in the same breath would offer insight into how things were moving forward, how life was a constant journey of self-reflection and learning, and how his progress was taking him towards the contented future that he deserves.

Amongst the prose, there is the inclusion of some of Matthew's poetry. I loved this touch; it felt much more raw and explicit, getting to the heart of his emotions and striking in it's openness. I related strongly to many of these poems, and they were a beautiful addition to the book.

The only slight issue I had with the book is that, as some of the sections are taken from his blog posts, there are a few instances where information is repeated. Obviously, when writing a blog, you can't guarantee everyone reading knows your situation and that kind of scene-setting is a necessity, but if I'm being really nit-picky then it does feel a little clunky in the context of a book. To be honest though I'm sure that this was just noticeable because I couldn't put Something Changed down and read it in one go - if you were to read the sections individually I doubt you'd even pick up on it.

Something Changed is a heartfelt and deeply personal book that could act as your best friend when you need it most. It certainly helped me feel less alone, and even if you're not divorced or have never suffered from mental illness, it will offer you something. It was an excellent choice for getting back into reading non-fiction.
★★★★

Giveaway!


If you'd like the chance to win 2x £10 Amazon giftcards and copy of the book then make sure to enter via the Rafflecopter below. This competition is open internationally - good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the other blogs hosting Something Changed on this tour!


Huge thanks to Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours for providing me with this copy.
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3 comments

  1. Thank you very, very much for your kind review Bethany. I'm so pleased that you liked and could relate to it. Thank you!

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  2. It sounds like a really interesting read, good to hear you enjoyed it! I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for it too :)

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  3. This sounds like a great book, and one I'll be adding to my "to read list". Thanks for the great review!

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