Down Came the Rain

Down Came the Rain is the rather infamous book by Brooke Shields about post-partum depression—it’s the book that got Tom Cruise’s shorts in a knot, and revealed him to be an even bigger creep than I’d ever taken time to imagine. I normally wouldn’t have purchased a book about post-partum depression, but it was my chance to thumb my nose at Tom so I couldn’t resist. This is the first “protest” book purchase I’ve ever made.

The book was a real downer. I didn’t expect a book about depression to be too “uplifting”, but I actually found this book a bit disturbing. Brooke Shields is a smart woman and well-educated, but her book was completely devoid of humour (except for the comic-relief provided by her husband) and the personal comments seemed to mostly be therapy-speak. I don’t even have kids, but reading this made me depressed, and I started to dread reading it (but I hate leaving a book unfinished).

Shields’ descriptions of her anxiety were almost “triggering” for me, that’s how awful it was. Like those dreams where you’re trying to run but your feet are stuck in quicksand, this book just dragged me down and enveloped me in a big grey cloud of moodiness. There’s also something very odd about the timing in the book. I’d think that the events in a particular chapter had reflected, say, a two month period, but then I’d be told that only two weeks had passed. It was disorienting, and it happened again and again, so I don’t think it was just my imagination.

I didn’t “hate” this book, but I don’t want it around anymore, and we’re giving it away to a friend who wants to read it. If you have post-partum depression, I’ve no doubt you’ll gain something from reading Down Came the Rain, (even if it’s just a more thorough knowledge of the condition, or the knowledge that you’re not alone), but if you just want to read this because you’re a Brooke Shields’ fan, I’d take a pass. If you want to take a poke at Tom Cruise though, by all means, don’t let me stop you.