Jun 16

I missed the Spring by Katherine Rubin – book review

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I Missed the Spring  by Katherine Rubin

A Roller Coaster Ride Through A Bipolar Life

This year in the UK mental illness is at last being talked about, and Katherine Rubin’s memoir of an adult life dominated by her bipolar condition is a frank and searing, but gentle exploration, of a life lived alongside delusion, suffering and huge manic heights until at last peace, or as Rubin prefers, a re-awakening, restores both creativity and balance.

It is a book for everyone, as we – those ‘outside’ – muse, ponder and are finally able to empathise and understand the lives of those involved in mental issues. Not just the sufferer but the family, and friends in the path of the whirlwind.

The life of London born Kaila is told in the first person, from her birth, to her arrival in Israel to work on a kibbutz and her meeting with David, which leads to marriage and settlement in Israel. The height of delight one might think, but which, in fact,  created a geographical separation from her family. This somehow triggers the mood disorder. But why?

Slowly the mystery is unravelled, the past is explored, until many years later she reaches a plateau of balance, and her long suppressed creativity – Rubins is a fine poet, writing in English and Hebrew, is restored.

Over the years of therapy, and medication David is her rock, and remains so, right from the moment Rubins wakes in England where they have returned for their wedding, on her bridal bed proclaiming she has conceived the Child of Peace that she is a prophet and privy to the reality of Universal Peace. After months in a psychiatric hospital suffering from extreme mood swings, David takes his bride home to Israel, a broken vessel on mind-numbing medication to treat manic-depression.

This is the start of the journey. Read and learn. The journey takes courage, patience and seems never ending, but it does end.

Her son, Shai provides her with a stepping stone to a creative future and thus restores the springtime of her life. Over the next decade, Kaila becomes a prolific poet and tells her story in verse in a book of poems entitled ‘Back from Beyond,’ about her bipolar disorder, the reawakening and her new-found joy in life, in her loving partner and in nature.

She writes a journal, documenting her daily life and creative work. It soon becomes a means of self analysis, uncovering the horrors of her early years and provides the material for her memoir, I Missed the Spring.

It’s a memoir we should all read. Bravo, to the courage of those who live, endure and often find their way to sanctuary.


About Katherine Rubin, by Katherine: People talk about coming out of the closet, but I literally emerged from a pill box to write this book. In deep despair, with a daily regimen of a dozen pills to combat psychiatric, psychosomatic and age-related conditions, a glimmer of insight led to my first poem, “The Pill Box.” I realized that the drugs were suppressing my poetry and the natural rhythm of my daily life.
Women performing domestic tasks seemed to have the energetic rhythm of a healthy mind that looks positively to the chores ahead, whereas I was always full of dread. When I dispensed with the pill box and replaced it with daily sport, healthy nutrition and poetry, I finally found my rhythm in the juxtaposition of domestic activity and creative endeavour. For me, the one generates energy for the other. Finally, in my sixties, I reclaimed glowing health, joy and clarity and published four books of poetry. With this book, ‘I Missed the Spring,’ I am finally telling the story I have always wanted to share.


I Missed the Spring by Katherine Rubin.   Amazon Pb £8.06