Our new book of the month for July is Everything is Beautiful Here by Mira T. Lee. When looking for books by women of color for this month, we thought it was so important to a novel with a mental health narrative to show that this is not a space owned by white, affluent people – that people of all backgrounds struggle with mental health and that we need to stop stereotyping mental illness so that everyone can get the help they need.
The novel follows the paths of two sisters - Lucia who lives with ‘pinball energy’ and Miranda who lives with steadfast logic. As Lucia enters adulthood, she endures mental illness - with her sister supporting from afar in Switzerland. Despite her struggles, Lucia pushes through - making radical life changes - on her search to find self-fulfillment.
Why we loved it
The character of Lucia is so beautiful and complex. She lives with a true passion for life, whether she is experiencing a manic episode or not. Everyone around her is attracted to her and swept up by her curiosity and passion. Her story is a beautiful one but so tragic as we read while her life unravels.
Moody Mixologist has created magic once again with the cocktail ‘Tea for Lucia.’ This layered cocktail changes color to represent the complexity of Lucia’s character. Full of sweet and spicy flavors and made with Butterfly Pea Tea (a big component of the colour change), this is the perfect cocktail drink for the book.
Our playlist this month features songs about mental health - some of them are dark - but a lot of them are fun and playful, where the musician takes ownership over their mental health and plows ahead. The featured song is called ‘They Know My Name’ by Big Little Lions. It’s an upbeat song with somewhat haunting lyrics - where they sing about ‘monsters hiding in my brain.’ This calls to mind Lucia’s reference of ‘the serpents’ in her mental illness; and the upbeat tone of the song reminds us of Lucia’s playfulness - despite her struggles.
Mental Health is such an important thing to be aware of, not only in yourself - but in others. We wanted to shine a light on one organisation looking to make a difference in the lives of Americans living with mental health conditions - the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can get involved through simply taking a pledge, donating, becoming a member or joining a walk in your area. You can also support the dialogue on mental health in this country just by talking about it. Talk about your experiences, be there for someone who might be going through a rough time -- support systems make such a difference - so please reach out!