Author Julie Rehmeyer’s Through the Shadowlands Is A Compassionate, Informed, Scientifically-Sound Account of ME and Mold Avoidance
“I read an early version of Through the Shadowlands while I was driving around the country, tent in my rental car, terrified that something inexplicable was wrong with me, convinced that I was losing my mind. Julie Rehmeyer’s book showed me that I wasn’t. Through the Shadowlands became a companion to me both emotionally—her range of compassion for herself and those in her life is tremendous—but also intellectually. Reading this book taught me so much about how to be sick but also how to understand my illness and its strangeness.
Julie does an incredible weaving together of scientific research and personally moving story to produce something that, given enough traction, can help so many people: scientists, doctors, patients, caregivers. For too long those of us with mystery illnesses and mysteriously-successful treatments (like, in Julie’s case, extreme mold avoidance) have been seen as mostly inconvenient. We’ve been marginalized. And so the depth of Julie’s scientific understanding sheds deeply important new light on not only the experience of having the disease generally known as chronic fatigue syndrome, but on what can be done. Through the Shadowlands should be required reading for anyone who’s ever suffered from something seemingly inexplicable (for there are answers to everything once we know where and how to look), and for those in the helping and healing professions.
I believe that this book has a real chance to change public understanding of this disease. Even if you’ve never been sick, the narrative propulsion and emotional depth of the story is incredibly compelling – so compelling that readers might not realize how much they’re learning about science, politics, and the history of illness. The book draws you in to experience, along with Julie, her journey from hopeless skepticism to near-full remission, all while being the best scientific reporter/investigator she’s ever had to be. It’s very hard to describe the feeling of suffering, and also the beauty of hope and acceptance. Julie does both, with ease and grace.”
– Eva Hagberg Fisher, author of the bestselling Kindle Single IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD, and the forthcoming memoir HOW TO BE LOVED.
The Washington Post declared Through the Shadowlands one of the best three memoirs of the month, calling it “harrowing, raw and frequently inspiring” and saying that Julie “writes as she has been forced to live: with great inner strength and determination.” O Magazine has a huge essay in its June issue that’s based on the book (it’ll be available online in a few days). And American Scientist did a beautiful in-depth interview with Julie.
But the book needs more help to get widespread attention, and the ME community can do a huge amount to push it forward. Here are a few specific things that will help:
- Buy the book! It’s particularly helpful if you preorder it, because all preorders are counted as occurring in the first week of sales. Selling well at the beginning helps a book get more media attention. (Just 5,000 preorders gives the book a chance to start on the New York Times bestseller list — the ME community alone could do that!) And tell your family and friends about the book — or buy copies for them.
- Plug the book on social media. Support Julie’s Thunderclap campaign before Tuesday, May 23: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/57417-through-the-shadowlands-launch This will create a big push of attention on social media the day the book comes out. And over the longer run, follow Julie on Facebook and Twitter and repost her articles, interviews and reviews.
- Write an Amazon review. Having lots and lots of five-star Amazon reviews makes a huge difference, getting Amazon to do more to promote it. And you don’t need to stress about writing a profound, moving review — just a sentence or two is great. (Though, of course, profound, moving reviews are awesome.)
- Ask for the book at your local bookseller, singing its praises. Or, if the book is already in stock, turn it on the shelf so that it faces out and people will see it. This can make a huge difference — especially since the bestseller lists give extra weight to sales from independent bookstores.