Imaginative stories of all kinds—thrillers, adventure novels, murder mysteries and even true crime novels—serve to entertain and frighten us. But, what if the story hit closer to home? Depression is one of life’s greatest mysteries, affecting 17.2 percent of New Zealander’s and 19.2 percent of Americans regularly.
In her new book, “The Shouting Well,” Asa Phillips breaks down the perplexity of depression through a mystery novel of her own. Inspired by the worst of nightmares, Phillips tells the story of a young woman who is coaxed into a parking garage that is rumored to have magical powers.
It is believed that one can shout the name of any person, dead or alive, down the three-story stairwell in the center of the car park. This area is known as the shouting well, and it leads the woman to a world of panic and darkness that she feels she’ll never recover from.
Similar to the feeling of hopelessness that many people with depression experience, the woman feels trapped and isolated. Readers will relate as she struggles through her journey, somehow finding refuge. Phillips hopes to instill positivity in readers by helping them connect to the desperation that the main character experiences, and depicting how she overcomes it. Even in the darkest of situations, Phillips asserts, there is always hope.
Though her story is dark, it is ultimately inspiring. Its central message of self-confidence and bravery encourage readers not to be defined by others, but to live life moment by moment.