Friday, February 12, 2016

Dancing on Broken Glass by KA Hancock

Yes, I read another adult book. This one is for February's book club meeting. Dancing on Broken Glass by KA Hancock is the most emotionally heart wrenching book I've read since Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls. 

This book will make you cry, unless you have no heart, then feel free to read it around other people. I cried like a baby. At one point in the book, the main character, Lucy, has to make a huge decision. I was so overcome with nerves, I had to put the book down for two days. This one scene made me rate this book a star lower than I would have. I felt I'd been taken emotionally hostage, and in reality, I felt this scene didn't fit with the belief system of the main character. However, I've never been in her situation, so maybe she would have ended up in that place.

Hancock tells the story of a couple who have decided it is unfair for them to have children. Lucy has a family history of cancer, and her husband Mickey has bipolar disorder. They want children, but Mickey remembers being a child and seeing his mother sick with Bipolar Disorder and how hard it was on him, and Lucy took care of her mom when she died of cancer. They don't think it is fair to put a child through that.

Fate steps in and gives them a hand of cards they didn't plan for. This book is about faith, love, and helping one another.

A quote I loved:

"When I was little, my father told me about death. I couldn't sleep one night, and he told me these three secrets so I wouldn't be afraid. He said death wasn't the end, and it didn't hurt, and if I wasn't afraid, I'd have some warning of when it was going to happen. (254)"

Hancock dealt with Mickey's bipolar disorder in a sensitive way. I could tell she knew what she was talking about. She didn't do a disservice to him, which happens often when mental illness is portrayed in movies - she didn't Hollywoodize it. Mickey had a better support system than what is realistic for most people with mental illnesses. I think she went more for how things should be instead of how things really are considering the current social stigmas, the inability of insurance companies to care or pay, and family to be understanding.

I could also tell that she'd dealt with death - she got that part right as well.

If you need a good cry, this is the book for you. It is simultaneously one of the saddest yet most hopeful books I've read.

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