Leave of Absence by Tanya J. Peterson

Leave of Absence by Tanya J. Peterson: When Oliver’s suicide attempt is thwarted by a well-meaning police officer, he is sent to a behavior health center where he meets Penelope. Oliver is suffering from PTSD after the death of his wife and son; Penelope and her fiance are struggling with her recent diagnosis of schizophrenia. They form an unexpected friendship. This description makes the story sound kind of dull, but it’s not. I’ve never read such a sympathetic fictional depiction of mental illness. Penelope’s fiance, for example, still loves her deeply and wants to marry her, and she can’t figure out why he hasn’t run screaming. The ending is uplifting but ultimately realistic, a very good introduction to how people cope with loss, grief, and illness.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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