Synopses & Reviews
“Killing yourself at any age is a seriously tricky business. But when I was seven, the odds felt insurmountable.”
As a young girl, Terri Cheneys life looked perfect. Her family lived in a lovely house in a tranquil Los Angeles suburb where the geraniums never once failed to bloom. She was pretty and smart, an academic superstar and popular cheerleader whose father doted on her. But starting with her first suicide attempt at age seven, it was clear that her inner world was anything but perfect.
“Theres something wrong with her,” her mother would whisper, her voice quivering on the edge of despair. And indeed there was, although no one had a name for it yet. Hostage to her roller-coaster moods, Terri veered from easy A-pluses to total paralysis, from bouts of obsessive hypersexuality to episodes of alcoholic abandon that nearly cost her her life. Throughout Terris chaotic early years, nothing was certain from day to day except this: whatever was so deeply wrong with her must be kept a secret.
Thirty years later, Terri wrote Manic, a harrowing memoir that revealed her adult struggle with bipolar disorder. It became an instant New York Times bestseller and received passionate critical acclaim. But it didnt tell the whole story. The mystery of Terris childhood remained untouched— too troubling, too painful to fathom. The Dark Side of Innocence explores those tumultuous formative years, finally shattering Terris well-guarded secret. With vivid intensity, it blends a pitch-perfect childlike voice with keen adult observation. The Dark Side of Innocence provides a heart-rending, groundbreaking insiders look into the fascinating and frightening world of childhood bipolar disorder, an illness that affects a staggering one million children. This poignant and compelling story of Terris journey from disaster and despair to hope and survival will serve as an informative and eye-opening tale for those who would trust a flawless facade.
“Cheney’s chilling account of her struggle with bipolar disorder brilliantly evokes the brutal nature of her disease. . .Edgy, dark and often cynical, Manic is not an easy book to read, but it has heart and soul to spare.” — People
"The Dark Side of Innocence is a magnificent depiction of the ravages of bipolar illness in childhood. Cheney has the wondrous ability to put herself back in the mind of a child, and we feel with her the exhilarating highs and desperate lows, as well as the terrifying confusion created by an illness for which she had no name...In an age when more and more people recognize that bipolar disorder may affect children too, Cheney’s intensely personal account provides much-needed hope and understanding about a highly stigmatized illness. A real tour de force." —Elyn Saks, author of The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, and recipient of the 2009 MacArthur Award
"Rewind the life of any adult with bipolar and you will find a childhood we would all desperately like to forget. Terri Cheney unflinchingly remembers…at long last, someone with the courage to break the silence." —John McManamy, author of Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder
“Eloquent, riveting…a tale that is hard to set aside.” —Ed Renehan, author of The Lion's Pride
"This will be big." —Library Journal
"Once again, Terri Cheney has written an educational but bittersweet book that moved me deeply." —Muffy Walker, MSN, MBA, President, International Bipolar Foundation
"As the father of an adult son with a severe mental illness, I found myself choking with emotion as I read Terri Cheney’s riveting and illuminating account of her childhood growing-up with bipolar disorder. What did I miss as a loving father? Were there signs? Could I have saved my son? Cheney provides us with important insights from the eyes of the most innocent among us—our very own children." —Pete Earley, New York Times bestselling author of CRAZY: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness
"Her story is a sound first step toward understanding your child's pain and finding solutions." —Publishers Weekly
“Cheney gives us a poignant, enlightening view of her struggles as a child.” —The Daily Beast
Now in paperback from the New York Times bestselling author of Manic—a gripping and eloquent account of the unfolding of her debilitating bipolar disorder during her childhood.
As a young girl, Terri Cheney’s life looked perfect. Her family lived in a tranquil Los Angeles suburb. She was pretty and smart, an academic superstar and a popular cheerleader. But beneath the surface, Terri’s world was increasingly chaotic: she attempted suicide at age six, was sexually precocious, and by the age of sixteen, reliant on alcohol to ease her paralyzing depression. Terri knew something was terribly wrong, but remained unaware of the cause.
The Dark Side of Innocence blends a pitch-perfect, childlike voice with keen adult observation, exploring Cheney’s tumultuous formative years through the lens of her rapidly evolving and undiagnosed illness.
A groundbreaking insider’s look into the fascinating and frightening world of childhood bipolar disorder, this poignant and compelling story of the author’s journey from disaster and despair to hope and survival is both informative and eye-opening.
The New York Times bestselling author blends a pitch-perfect childlike voice with keen adult observation as she shares her heartrending, groundbreaking insider’s look into the fascinating and frightening world of childhood bipolar disorder.
Starting with her first suicide attempt at age seven, Terri Cheney was held hostage by her roller-coaster moods, veering from easy A-pluses to total paralysis, from bouts of obsessive hypersexuality to episodes of alcoholic abandon that nearly cost her her life. On the outside, her world appeared perfect. She was pretty and smart, an academic superstar and popular cheerleader. Yet her inner world was chaos, a well-guarded secret too troubling, too painful to fathom even thirty years later in her bestselling memoir, Manic, which was lauded as “chilling” and “brilliant” by People. In The Dark Side of Innocence, her eye-opening follow-up, Terri shares her poignant and compelling journey from a childhood of disaster and despair to hope and survival, an informative first-person account of a dark beast that preys on a staggering one million children.
About the Author
, once a successful entertainment attorney representing the likes of Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, now devotes her advocacy skills to the cause of mental illness. On the boards of directors of several mental health organizations, she also facilitates a weekly community support group at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute. Her writings about bipolar disorder have been featured in the New York Times
, the Huffington Post
, and countless articles and blogs. She currently resides in Los Angeles.