Dancing On Broken Glass by Ka Hancock – 394 pages
Lucy Houston and Mickey Chandler probably shouldn’t have fallen in love, let alone gotten married. They’re both plagued with faulty genes—he has bipolar disorder; she, a ravaging family history of breast cancer. But when their paths cross on the night of Lucy’s twenty-first birthday, sparks fly, and there’s no denying their chemistry.
Cautious every step of the way, they are determined to make their relationship work—and they put their commitment in writing. Mickey will take his medication. Lucy won’t blame him for what is beyond his control. He promises honesty. She promises patience. Like any marriage, there are good days and bad days—and some very bad days. In dealing with their unique challenges, they make the heartbreaking decision not to have children. But when Lucy shows up for a routine physical just shy of their eleventh anniversary, she gets an impossible surprise that changes everything. Everything. Suddenly, all their rules are thrown out the window, and the two of them must redefine what love really is.
My Review: 4.5 stars
This was a winner for me. Two complex, perfectly imperfect souls find each other and face the not just the standard ups n’ downs that come with any marriage, but also with the instability of mental illness mixed an inherited cancer gene.
Although this seems depressing due to the subject matter, and at times you will be compelled to cry, this book is magically uplifting in its strength of family, sisterhood, community, marriage and love. Without being hokey, this author has created a real family dealing with real crises, amidst a beautiful romance. First novel for this author and I’m looking forward for more from her. She’s packs a punch with her words and is quite insightful in dealing with the illnesses represented in this book.
Quotes I liked:
I like to think of my mental illness as supplemental to the rest of me, like emotional diabetes. Depakote is my current insulin, mood is my blood sugar. Like any good diabetic, I have to keep my chemicals aligned. If I don’t, I get sick.”
– “I really think everyone should be important enough to just one other person on this freaking planet to be fought for. Even me. And nobody’s fighting for me. So I’m done.”
– “Lucy, every marriage is a dance; complicated at times, lovely at times, most the time very uneventful. But with Mickey, there will be times when your dance will be on broken glass. There will be pain. And you will either flee that pain or hold tighter and dance through it to the next smooth place.”
– “Our bodies did the work but it was our souls that were conjoined.”
– “They say the first year after a major loss is the hardest. That’s an understatement; loss is its own brand of insanity and no relief from it. There are no shortcuts and the only way through grief is through it. You just have to get up every day and wait to go to bed every night, then wake up and do it all over again.”