20 January, 2017

Piece of Mind by Michelle Adelman


The days are sticky and swampy, everything feels slightly soiled and crumpled in this heat. So for me, I don’t want my usual to read. No slightly cruel humour, complicated relationships or existential angst. But then again, I don’t want to gorge on the book equivalent of junk food. There needs to be some calorific value as well as pleasing to the palate.

So for me, Piece of Mind  offered just the right combination of ingredients. Rather lovely, whimsical and  gentle yet thoughtful. This is a book about Lucy, who undergoes a sudden change in life circumstances that wrench her from the touchstones of daily life and the familiar company  of her father with whom she lives.

Lucy had an accident that left her with head injuries at the age of three. You wouldn’t necessarily know that she has certain limitations; it hasn’t affected her mental capacity as such.

This is what we do know about Lucy that sets her as slightly apart in her functioning from other 20 something year olds. She is ridiculously clumsy, catastrophically messy, her brain seems unable to hold and follow through beyond the concept of “tidying up”. Her memory is impish at best and holding down a job, full or part time has not been successful.

Yet Lucy is so engaging in her way of thinking, there is an intimacy and empathy for this character as we are privy to how she makes sense of things and tries to make signposts for getting through life.
Imagine then how disorienting is would be for Lucy to sudden lose her father and have to relocate from the comfort and familiarity of the family home to a studio apartment, and that’s being generous, with her brother.

Take this book somewhere tranquil to help make those fleeting holiday moments stay a little longer.  This book is the long cool drink, the welcome breeze for these close humid days.


Reviewed by: Sue W, Central library

Title: Piece of Mind
Author: Michelle Adelman

Sue W loves her fur babies equally but differently and used to administer time out to think about bad behaviours, however since Patrick the fox arrived, she can no longer lock a miscreant in the spare room least Patrick is set upon.



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