A literate but undogmatic guide (part memoir, part companion) to surviving a "disease of the imagination" that is coming to seem like the defining malaise of the early twenty-first century.
Depression is assassination. And the depressive is a detective charged with "tracking down the perpetrator of his or her own murder".
'Sunbathing In The Rain' draws on the strength of poetry in a new form for prose non-fiction. It is intended for those who have suffered from or have seen a relative or friend succumb to depression. The ever-growing multi-million dollar market worldwide for anti-depressants attests to the scope of the disease, an epidemic in this century. But this is no mere self-help book; its appeal is much wider.
Whilst the overall structure of the book moves from dark to light, telling the story of Lewis's recovery, its different strands allow a variety of tones and subjects to be explored, from the profound to the frivolous. Alongside a paragraph about the proper relationship between the ego, the mind and the emotions nestles a passage on the therapeutic value of nail varnish. Practical hints on how to get better (diet, read Hello!, helpful pieces of music) sit alongside striking quotations.
Part memoir - drawing on her own experiences, both adverse and encouraging, as a depressive and an alcoholic - and part guide or companion, this book brings 'Burton's Anatomy Of Melancholy' into the twenty-first century. Lewis unpacks her dark memories, plucks up the arrow of truth-telling and the shield of wit and re-embarks on a journey that nearly killed her the first time around. She survives, again, and shows how others might too.