A teenage girl attempts to separate her life from that of her bipolar mother in this introspective debut.
“On the fourth day of junior year, sometime between the second bell…and the time I got home from school, my mother tried to kill herself.” Sophie is left adrift after her mother is rushed to the hospital for treatment to medically regulate the bipolar disorder that caused her suicide attempt. Sophie’s constant attention to her single mother’s moods and medication has meant sacrificing friends and a social life, and now she feels completely alone. She withdraws even further when she is forced to live with her estranged aunt, uncle and cousin. But soon she begins making tenuous connections at school and with her new family, and she finds she is secretly relieved not to be just her mother’s caregiver. She enjoys having the freedom to help out at her uncle’s architectural firm after school or go on a random drive with her new friend, Natalie. But will she be able to ask for the help she needs when her mother finally comes home? Or will her feelings of guilt and shame keep her from reaching out? This quiet novel provides honest insight about the conflicting emotions felt by families struggling with bipolar disorder. Sophie’s inner journey from resignation to hopefulness is authentically portrayed and will provide great comfort to any teen contending with a parent’s affliction.
Perceptive and sincere. (Fiction. 12 & up)