rating: 4 of 5 stars
I went to college with and had a very scary incident with a boy who was bipolar. When he went into one of his manic phases (at this point in time I had no idea he was bipolar - he only told one of the three other people I lived with) and my two roommates and I went to the Cambridgeside Galleria (a mall in Boston) leaving a third roommate alone with him, we came home to police cars and ambulances at our apartment. We were scared to say the least but not as scared at that third roommate who believed she could solve all this boy's ills by kindness and (apparently) converting him to a vegetarian lifestyle. Turns out the boy had grabbed one of kitchen knives (a brilliant set of cutlery left over from one roommate's days as a Cutco saleswoman which I could never look at never mind use again after that day) and threatened to kill my third roommate. Then, he turned the knife on himself.
This book reminded me in brilliant comparison of the boy I went to school with. In it's nonsentimental/non-whiney tones, it captured my attention and made me feel for Sally. Sally and I were the same age (give or take a year). It's scary to think how easily each of us could be effected or a victim of the mental health disorders out there.
And I'm glad for once to see a book that doesn't "search for blame." I find books like that to be the worst sort of shit possible. The author instead focused on Sally and how he could help her transition to her new life. (Also, I loved all "subtle" transition references ... the woman who gets her dry cleaning the first day Sally is in the hospital or all the birthing room references).
The writing style was fresh and expressive. I especially liked how Greenberg went back to his novel manuscript and "sanitized" it, taking out any extrainious emotions. It was a perfect parallel to the actual novel.
All around I would encourage others to read this book.
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