Synopses & Reviews
Sophie has always lived her life in the shadow of her mother's bipolar disorder: monitoring medication, making sure the rent is paid, rushing home after school instead of spending time with friends, and keeping secrets from everyone.
But when a suicide attempt lands Sophie's mother in the hospital, Sophie no longer has to watch over her. She moves in with her aunt, uncle, and cousin--a family she's been estranged from for the past five years. Rolling her suitcase across town to her family's house is easy. What's harder is figuring out how to rebuild her life.
And as her mother's release approaches and the old obligations loom, Sophie finds herself torn between her responsibilities toward her mother and her desire to live her own life, Sophie must decide what to do next.
"Polsky's first novel examines the damaging fallout of a mother's struggle with mental illness. Sophie Canon's mother has bipolar disorder, and for the past five years Sophie has been responsible for maintaining their emotional and physical health, as well as financial stability. After Sophie's mother attempts suicide, the high school junior temporarily moves in with her rather reserved aunt, uncle, and cousin, Leila, who was once Sophie's best friend. Polsky seamlessly intertwines Sophie's memories of the high and low points of life with her mother, close friendships that went awry, and her mother's moments of artistic inspiration with her current situation, for which Sophie entirely blames herself ('I should have known she wasn't taking her medication.... I should have found that other bottle of pills before she had the chance to use it'). The author immerses readers in Sophie's life as she faces the difficult question of whether to allow her mother (or anyone) back into her life. A believable story that explores the weight of guilt and the pressures people place on themselves. Ages 13 up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary + Media. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"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." Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2013
"A believable story that explores the weight of guilt and the pressures people place on themselves." Publishers Weekly, August 12, 2013
"Sophie's voice is unflinchingly honest and convincing. Amy is the catalyst but the story is all Sophie's. She is astute and courageous, daring to effect a satisfying and compassionate resolution. A difficult topic made approachable by well-crafted writing." School Library Journal, September 1, 2013
Sixteen-year-old Sophie has always had to look out for her bipolar mother, but when her mother is hospitalized, Sophie realizes she needs to live her own life.