Piece of Mind
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Told with warmth and intelligence, Piece of Mind introduces one of the most endearing and heroic characters in contemporary fiction.
At twenty-seven, Lucy knows everything about coffee, comic books, and Gus (the polar bear at the Central Park Zoo), and she possesses a rare gift for drawing. But since she suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of three, she has had trouble relating to most people. She’s also uncommonly messy, woefully disorganized, and incapable of holding down a regular job. When unexpected circumstances force her out of the comfortable and protective Jewish home where she was raised and into a cramped studio apartment in New York City with her college-age younger brother, she must adapt to an entirely different life—one with no safety net. Over the course of a challenging summer, Lucy is forced to discover that she has more strengths than she herself knew.
- February 2016
- 5.9 × 8.6 in
/ 320 pages
- Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.
Endorsements & Reviews
“Lucy, the endearing narrator of this moving novel, was left brain-damaged after being hit by a truck when she was 3. When her father dies 24 years later, she struggles to survive on her own, find her place in the world and summon the courage to pursue her dreams. With simplicity and humor, her story testifies to the fierce, universal human need for expression.” — People
“As much about the bond between siblings as about traumatic brain injury.” — Boston Globe
“Arresting....smart, honest and funny.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“A delightful page-turner packed full of warmth, humor, and bubbling, sparkling joy.” — The National Book Review
“Adelman beautifully conveys Lucy's idiosyncratic voice and outlook on the world...[Adelman] resists pat, too-easy endings, and instead focuses on realistically depicting Lucy's strengths and weaknesses, humor, failings and tentative steps toward believing in her own capabilities.” — Bookreporter
“A moving story of grief, resilience, and self-actualization…Adelman fully inhabits Lucy’s voice, and the resulting tale is as realistic as it is uplifting.” — Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
“Lucy’s narrative is sensitive, witty, and illuminating…excellently draw. Her journey and the evolution of her relationships offer a rare glance at the unknowable.” — Library Journal (starred review)
“Piece of Mind is such a beautiful debut, one that will indelibly imprint the reader with Lucy’s unique voice and vision. She channels the raw states of grief and joy and bewilderment with such a pure-hearted intensity. Her New York is a flickery frontier, exciting and scary, where she toggles between states of numbness and excruciating sensitivity. Michelle Adelman is so articulate about what we know and cannot say, what we can barely stand to know, and what we bravely face each day as individuals in families, together and alone.” — Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!
“Piece of Mind is compulsively readable, built around a set of relatable, engaging characters and a compelling central problem for its protagonist.” — Liz Moore, author of Heft
“From the first page of Piece of Mind, I fell in love with Lucy, its quirky, brave, funny heroine. And that feeling grew as she navigates her changing, often confusing, world. Michelle Adelman has created an unforgettable character and an unforgettable story.” — Ann Hood, author of An Italian Wife and The Knitting Circle
“Like the Tourettes-ticcing Lionel Essrog in Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn, or the obsessive-compulsive Mona Gray in Aimee Bender's An Invisible Sign of My Own, Michelle Adelman's heroine—and she definitely is that—travels a path that is by nature solitary, yet intersects with all that is best in ourselves. I hope you'll root for Lucy's success as much as I do.” — Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and the Jinni
“Piece of Mind is animated by sense and innocence. Michelle Adelman has written a truly charming novel full of humor and warmth. Sex and drugs and polar bears abound.” — Cathleen Schine, author of Fin and Lady and The Three Weissmanns of Westport
New York Times Editor's Choice
People Magazine Pick of the Week
A Washington Post Notable Book of 2015
Library Journal Top Ten Books of 2015
BookPage Top Five Books of 2015
"Raw and beautiful. . . . What rises and shines from the page is Todd Aaron, a hero of such singular character and clear spirit that you will follow him anywhere. You won’t just root for him, you will fight and push and pray for him to wrest control of his future. You will read this book in one sitting or maybe two, and, I promise, you will miss this man deeply when you are done.”—Ann Bauer, Washington PostMore