HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD by Robert Kolker (Quercus £20, 400 pp)
This article is part of a series on the Galvin Family. The Galvin Family is/was an American family heavily obliterated by schizophrenia. According to at least two books, 6 of the 12 children all were notoriously diagnosed with the disease before their lives were disastrously uprooted by criminal acts; violence, and terrifying ordeals. In modern-day, the two surviving main daughters have decided to tell their story to an independent journalist for the first time.
Mostly, the interest in the Galvin Family appears to first have come about last month following the publication of a revealing Medium article by a particular author. The article revealed just how many of the children had been diagnosed — and the extent of their horrifying crimes.
Donald, tried to kill his wife before being sent to a state mental hospital more than 20 times over two decades. The seventh son, Joseph, sent threatening letters to the president. The ninth son, Matthew, believed he was Paul McCartney. The 10th son, Peter, once shattered the windows of the house right in front of his parents. And the fourth son, Brian, a talented rock musician, shot his girlfriend and turned the gun on himself — the initial article reads.
The fantastical journey began about 3 or 4 years ago in Colorado and follows the path of Hidden Valley Road. In Hidden Valley Road (out this week), Robert Kolker, has been granted something unprecedented. Every single living member of the Galvin Family who is alive today participated in the discussions and research for his book. It was a move like no other but led to one of the most brilliant stories most will probably remember in recent memory.
As a family, the Galvin ‘s story is equally captivating as it is mercilessly honest. Dating back to the previous century, many people believed that a root cause of schizophrenia was in fact over controlling mothers. MiMi (the Mom) apparently had a tough time admitting that her children were sick among other detrimental details of their lives.
We’ll review the book as it gets released and share our review here.