Book Reviews

imageReviewed By Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite
Five star Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It is 2014 and thirteen-year-old Jesse Weitering is struggling with anxiety, a condition that threatens to destroy the dynamics of their family. In Thirteen and Underwater: One Mum’s Heart-Warming Journey, Michelle Weitering shares the heartwarming and painful journey of the family as they stand up for their son and refuse to sink under the overwhelming strain of anxiety. Told from the point of view of the mother, the story follows the relationship between mother and son and examines her fight against despair and the path towards acceptance and healing. Like most parents faced with similar situations, the author shares her fears and thoughts, opening up the wounds of her family to allow readers a glimpse of living with an adolescent whose sense of self is being destroyed by anxiety.

Michelle Weitering’s memoir is an emotionally charged story that reflects a reality that would be a nightmare for many parents. It is interesting how the pain of her son’s experiences rubs off on her. The hope and resilience of the mother in working hard to build a relationship with her son is beautifully portrayed. The reader is taken through moments of joy and pain and the author lays bare the secrets of her family. This memoir deftly handles themes of family, anxiety, love, hope, and healing. Thirteen and Underwater: One Mum’s Heart-Warming Journey is written in a voice that is candid and engrossing. It is spellbinding and filled with emotional moments. Readers will also discover powerful lessons in dealing with anxiety and creating a healthy environment where their kids can evolve in self-confidence and trust.

Victorian mum and school teacher

As the mother of a child who has suffered a mental illness it is often difficult to know what to do. You wonder, ‘what have I done wrong, how can I help more, no one else knows how I am feeling, I can’t talk about it with anyone because no one understands’. We now know that not every mental illness is the same and it is not something that can be cured. It’s tough for all but it needs to be talked about so that we can understand and look after each other more. As a teacher I see not just children but parents who suffer from a mental illness and it is something that definitely needs more open and honest discussion which Mickey has done.
Fantastic read!!
I’ve just finished reading Thirteen and Underwater.
You are an amazing author. What a journey you and Jesse have had.
Michelle you are an inspiration to others to never give up!!!
Thank you for sharing your honest, and difficult days. As parents life has so many challenging situations
After reading your heartfelt words I felt there is always good.
Sending big hugs to you and your son Jesse. xxoo❤❤

By Passionate Possum Person.

Sincere thanks for my copy of Thirteen and Underwater. I have read this book twice now and each time laughed, cried and related to the (lost child) for which I was one.
Luckily, in my early years I had Aunts, Uncles, and super Grandparents, to divert my sensory being – (Solace in the earth, tending to my plants or just sitting high in a tree)

At 55 years once again, through your book, I was able to open that chapter of my life and think, ‘oh if only Google had of existed, but then again better it didn’t……’
Depression, anxiety, and PTSD is what I have. And every day, I live how we all should. How ever we can, to bring us peace and happiness.
Continue your writing journey into 2020 and beyond.
What a story what a family You drew me in. I related in so many ways.
Michelle, the fact that I know you and met family and friends I am in awe.
This book will give hope to so many families.
That, as the Beatles said… ‘All you need is love.’ That book is going to take you into so many places , I am so lucky to know you Lizzy
Review by Dannielle Line
“Brave and intensely emotional, this is the true story of a mother’s experience as she navigates her son’s world of anxiety and depression. Ms Weitering takes the reader through his childhood and shares deeply personal increments of their life together. Told with blunt honesty and a touch of humour, readers will find themselves moved by details stemming from childhood bullying by children to adults outside the immediate family group. Not only should they have known better, they were the ones she thought would offer support. The plight of a mother desperate to help her son and their family understand a situation in which they were figuratively drowning will even draw those who haven’t experienced these issues.

For those whose reality is anxiety and depression or live with someone they love who fights an internal battle every day, reading of another person’s experiences could make a huge difference. Imagine feeling less alone because you’ve connected with something you’ve read? Or because you’ve been in the same situation and understood exactly where the author was coming from and recognising the events in your own circumstances.

Ms Weitering’s openness and candour invites the reader into her world, draws you down into the heartache of not only herself but also her son’s. Her story leaves you with if not a deeper understanding, then certainly a more compassionate one. The author hopes that by sharing her story there might be one family who acts a little kinder to itself and finds the courage to seek help. I’m of the opinion this story will reach so many more.”

Louise Josephine Manna ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I consider myself to be one of Michelle’s closest friends, and she mine. Over the years we have spent countless hours trying to navigate and resolve the many problems our children have faced. Like most parents, I want my kids to do better in life than I did, and know I have added pressure to their lives, along with society in this day and age.

Society somewhat dictates that kids should be at a certain level in life depending on their age; Pre-school, Primary school, High school, Tertiary education, University, TAFE, Apprenticeships, the list goes on.But no-one ever talks about how anxiety can stop any adult or child dead in their tracks… and everything we thought we knew about parenthood and normality, goes out the window.

After reading Thirteen and Underwater, I’ll have to admit I was heart broken regarding how much Michelle didn’t share with me. Not because she was ashamed, but because of her selflessness. I know she didn’t want to burden myself, or others as she knew everyone is dealing with their own shit, and just keeping afloat.

As difficult as I found it sad to read about Michelle’s private pain and the goings on with her family, she managed to make me burst out laughing several times, along with a few cringe worthy moments, due to the fact that I could relate, to being that person, that too, said things i never should have said as a parent, due to frustration, anger, and hopelessness.

So Bless you Michelle for putting pen to paper and opening up about the whole nitty, gritty shitty truth about anxiety, and making me feel a little more normal (whatever normal is anyway?!?) – and sharing with us all, making us aware and compassionate.

For anyone who struggles with this disorder, awareness Is key. Thank you MICKEY. Xx🙏🏽