Saying thank you to a reviewer pays off

After three years since its launch, my book, Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide, is still getting some wonderful reviews on Amazon. I can’t help sharing this latest one:

New eBook Cover

New eBook Cover

Incredible Book!

This memoir is simultaneously heart-wrenching and incredibly hopeful. Madeline’s story is a true triumph of the human spirit’s ability to endure even the most nightmarish of scenarios. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone – whether you live with mental illness, have a loved one who does, have lost someone to suicide, or just looking for a beautiful story illuminating the human condition, you should read this book. Exquisite.

This review touched me so much that I was moved to thank the reviewer. In doing so I found out more about her and her family:

Oh wow, it’s an honor to have you read my review and reply back to me! Your book has had such an impact on my life, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder myself and also having lost a family member (my father) to suicide. It is such a clear, eye-opening view of what it’s like for families (mothers in particular) to deal with their child’s mental illness. It really made me appreciate the struggle my own family has endured. I’ve insisted my mother, grandmother, and sister all read this book, and they’ve been passing it amongst themselves for a whilenow –

 your writing has inspired my entire family :). Thank you so much for summoning the courage to tell your story, and the story of your beautiful son.

My words exactly – wow! I should have thanked my reviewers many times before. How amazing to be able to find out more about our readers with a few simple words. It is also heartening to know my book is still able to inspire others with the same experiences I have had. Every review that praises our books helps bring more people to read them and gain from then.


Original cover

Original cover


  1. Madeline,

    Great post here about lots of things–gratitude included!

    I purposely put my email address in the back of my book when I published it, and asked my readers to reach out to me, if they felt so inclined, once they had finished. I have received over 100 emails–many thanking me for the courage, but others asking for advice on how to transition out of teaching, or how to start a business, or how to write a memoir.

    I’m not going to lie–at first, I wondered if I had made a mistake by doing so, because my inbox at times is on overload, and I really do want to email every one back. So far, I have been able to–and like you, our conversations continue via email, and sometimes phone. It has been nice to get to my know my readers!


    • Madeline Sharples says:

      What a great idea, Shannon. I wish I had done that. However, I’ve had a lot of conversations with readers via comments, Facebook, at speaking engagements, so I have experienced some wonderful feedback. I find that no matter whom I talk to about my story, they have had something similar happen in their lives. It makes me feel writing my memoir was very worthwhile.
      Thanks for being here. I look forward to hosting you here again soon. xoxo Madeline

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