BlueStone Press Review (excerpt)

Anyone in the Rondout Valley area of New York, you can read the entire review by Anne Pyburn Craig in the August 19, 2016 issue of the Blue Stone Press. Excerpt below:


‘You’re Still Sick?’ Stone Ridge Teacher’s Novel Explores the World of Invisible Disabilities

“Drea, the good-hearted and gutsy young woman at the story’s heart … copes with a bewildering and demoralizing array of symptoms that make life exponentially harder than it should be.

Drea is suffering, and she has no choice but to allow her life to revolve around her symptoms to some extent. At her core, there’s a kind soul, an indomitable spirit, and a witty mind which make her fun to hang out with even though so much of what she faces isn’t fun at all.

Between dealing with [her mother and sister] and the procession of doctors who seem to resent her puzzling existence and blame her for her own troubles, Drea’s about had it.

… Drea adds a new coping trick to her arsenal … She visualizes the doctors who have been dismissive and unkind experiencing her symptoms for themselves. Maybe, she reason, maybe then they’ll begin to get it.

Meanwhile, in the same town, Helene, the daughter of one of those very MDs, is hanging out her own shingle as a psychotherapist. Soon her doctor father … begins referring to Helene a stream of his colleagues who are suffering with mysterious symptoms.

At the end of the book, Helene and Drea haven’t crossed paths, but their worlds intersect here and there … Drea has not yet gotten any answers … Helene, meanwhile, has gained a remarkable degree of insight into the emotional issues and thought processes that can make eminent doctors such a challenge to the rest of us. In a story like this, wrapping everything into a tidy conclusion would have been a cheap way out; we’re left with hope, and that’s got to be enough. After all, it’s all Drea has, and she keeps on keeping on.

Regardless of the occasional first-time novelist’s glitch, “You’re Still Sick?” triumphs on many remarkable levels. It should be required reading in medical school and for friends and family members of those who face chronic ailments. It’s also a sweet tale of compassion and small-town life, a parable of empathy. Get your copy … share it with a friend, and visit invisibledisabilities.org to get a nonfiction look at the realities faced by the Dreas of this world.”

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