Within the Loudest Silence

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A book review of Within the Loudest Silence by Stephen James Potter & Ann Marie Potter

A book review of Within the Loudest Silence by Stephen James Potter & Ann Marie Potter

Stars: ***

Self-Published (2021)
250 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: “As time went on, I realized that if I didn’t start seeing my mother as this human that she was, then I wouldn’t ever truly know her. But, even so, this innocent girl from Marlborough Massachusetts who, in the end, found herself divorced, raising three kids in a small Connecticut town long separated from the family who shaped her, unable to find a job because she invested in a life that promised a different outcome, would still try to stay superhuman for as long as she possibly could.”

Within the Loudest Silence posthumously chronicles the life of Ann Marie Potter, a mother, divorcee, multiple suicide attempt survivor, proud bike activist, depression and suicide victim, and the ripple effect it had on the lives surrounding her. Using notes and chapters from his mother’s unfinished memoir after her death, her son, Stephen, manages to both finish her story by showing us his own. Through boisterous laughter and brutal honesty, comes a story that both looks at the beauty of pain, and how love and family can guide us through it. For readers of Paul Kalanithi, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a pensive yet profound dual memoir that intricately weaves together the life of a late mother and her son, asking the question, ‘When life becomes tragic, does it have to be considered a tragedy?’

Within the Loudest Silence

This memoir is the memoir of a mother and son. Ann Marie Potter started writing a memoir of how she overcame depression and suicide attempts but ultimately succumbed to suicide. Her son, Stephen James Potter fills in the blanks with his side of the story and what happened afterward.

Ann’s writings are in italics while Stephen’s are in regular type. This helps you remember who is speaking. There were a few times though that I forgot for a minute.

I think this would be a good book to read for someone who knows someone with depression and/or suicide attempts. It might help them understand how depression can lie to you and make you think suicide is the only way out. Suicide is not the easy way out or the cowards way out.

Stephen interjects the sad parts with humour in the perfect way. This made it a more enjoyable read instead of all sadness. Stephen makes a few jokes about not being related to Harry Potter. I think Stephen did a great job of honouring his mother by helping his mother finish the memoir and publishing it.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.