Leaving the Hall Light On
“A moving read of tragedy, trying to prevent it, and coping with life after.” – Midwest Book Review
“Moving, intimate and very inspiring.” – Mark Shelmerdine, CEO, Jeffers Press
“Poetically visceral, emotionally honest. I will be a better, more empathic psychiatrist, and a better person and friend after reading this extraordinary memoir.” – Irvin D. Godofsky, M.D.
Scroll down to see an interview with Madeline Sharples
Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide charts the near-destruction of one middle-class family whose son committed suicide after a seven-year struggle with bipolar disorder.
Madeline Sharples, author, poet and web journalist, goes deep into her own well of grief to describe her anger, frustration and guilt. She describes many attempts – some successful, some not – to have her son committed to hospital and to keep him on his medication. The book also charts her and her family’s redemption, how she considered suicide herself, and ultimately, her decision to live and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother and writer.
A note from the author: I encourage you to read my book if you have been touched by bipolar disorder or suicide. And even if you have not, my book will inspire you to survive your own tragedies. As author Jessica Bell says: Leaving the Hall Light On is “a remarkable book and it SHOULD be read.” – Madeline Sharples
“I recommend this book to suicide survivors and to mental health professionals. Madeline Sharples is much more honest about what it is like to survive suicide than most patients and clients allow themselves to be.” – Fran Edstrom, American Association of Suicidology
“A poetically visceral, emotionally honest account of Sharple’s experience with her son’s bipolar disorder, his suicide, and her family’s grief and gradual adaptation to their terrible loss. I will be a better, more empathic psychiatrist, and a better person and friend after reading this extraordinary memoir.” – Irvin D. Godofsky, M.D.
“I recommend this book to those who lost a child or who struggle with the mental illness of a child, and to anyone at all who wants a deep, intimate read where the author bares her soul and lets you into her world!” – Bonni Rubinstein, Organizer of the Facebook group “Loss of an Adult or Young Adult Child”
“Leaving the Hall Light On left me in tears. It is a heart-wrenching book; I could not put it down. Anyone who wants to learn how to live with children or adults with bipolar disorder, must read this book.” – Mary Barrett, The Nashville (Illinois) News
“It must have taken great courage to reveal your story to yourself and your family let alone to the world at large. I was completely caught up in your life and the heart-wrenching drama that you were experiencing. The world is a better place for your having written this book.” – Mark Shelmerdine, CEO, Jeffers Press
About the Author
Although Madeline Sharples worked for most of her professional life as a technical writer and editor, grant writer, and proposal manager, she fell in love with poetry and creative writing in grade school. She pursued her writing interests to high school while studying journalism and writing for the high school newspaper, and she studied journalism in college. However, she only began to fulfill her dream to be a professional writer later in life.
Madeline’s memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, is the harrowing but ultimately uplifting tale of the course of years from her son Paul’s diagnosis with bipolar disorder, through his suicide at her home to the present day. It details how Madeline, her husband and younger son weathered every family’s worst nightmare.
In addition to Leaving the Hall Light On, Madeline co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) a book about women in nontraditional professions and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (2010). Her poetry accompanies the work of photographer Paul Blieden in two books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy as well as appearing in print and online on many occasions.
Madeline is now a full-time writer and is working on her next book, a novel, based in the 1920s. She and Bob, her husband of 40 years, live in Manhattan Beach, California, a small beach community south of Los Angeles.