Author: Lorrie Thomson
Source: TLC Book Tours and the publisher. Receipt of this book did not influence my opinion nor my review thereof.
Author's website, Facebook page, and Twitter account
In the year since her husband died, Laura Klein’s world has shifted on its axis. It’s not just that she’s raising two children alone—fact is, Laura always did the parenting for both of them. But now her fifteen-year-old daughter, Darcy, is dating a boy with a fast car and faster hands, and thirteen-year-old Troy’s attitude has plummeted along with his voice. Just when she’s resigning herself to a life of worry and selfless support, her charismatic new tenant offers what Laura least expects: a second chance.
Darcy isn’t surprised her mom doesn’t understand her, though she never imagined her suddenly acting like a love-struck teen herself. With Troy starting to show signs of their father’s bipolar disorder, and her best friend increasingly secretive, Darcy turns to her new boyfriend, Nick, for support. Yet Nick has a troubled side of his own, forcing Darcy toward life-altering choices.
Exploring the effects of grief on both mother and daughter, Equilibrium is a thoughtful, resolutely uplifting novel about finding the balance between holding on and letting go, between knowing when to mourn and when to hope, and between the love we seek and the love we choose to give.
When your husband, who's been suffering from a bipolar disorder, makes good on his last attempt at taking his life how do you go on? How do you keep your family together knowing your children could inherit the disorder? How do you cope yourself? Where do you find your equilibrium?
That is the premise of this debut author's novel, Equilibrium. A little heavy to begin with, Thomson explores how a family could go on in this work of fiction. Luckily for the heroine, Laura, she has two best friends who help keep her centred. We don't get to know them very well other than to know they are always there for her and she can count on them for late night calls, visits, even a little new-age wisdom.
Her fifteen year old daughter Darcy, on the other hand, struggles to make sense of her loss, the feelings of betrayal by her father, and even the guilt. Sometimes it feels like this is her story and at other times it feels like her mother's but their stories come together in the end as they discover the strength each other has and pull together.
Laura's young son Troy seems wise beyond his years at first but as the reader gets to know him we see the young boy, the tween, and the young man in turns. He seems so together until the anniversary of his father's suicide when something happens that shatters every one's belief in his well-being.
Then there's handsome younger Aiden, the emergency room doctor who rents Laura's husband's studio. From renter to friend, he becomes the balance in this family and the hope they all need. He often seems too good to be true, but he is the genuine article and you can't help falling for him yourself as you read along.
There were a couple times, during flashbacks and flash forwards to the present that lost me and I had to go back and re-read to determine the tense and the defining line between the two. Perhaps that is an issue only with the ARC? Thomson's pace is quick, never lagging and her character development brings the main characters to life, especially Darcy's boyfriend Nick. Thomson uses a lot of imagery and creative twists in her descriptiveness which is sometimes distracting; yet I can appreciate the talent of this young creative writer.
Overall, I did enjoy Equilibrium. It's a bit heavy for a beach read but then again, one can only read so much fluff. Equilibrium brings that balance back.
Meet the author:
Lorrie Thomson lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their children. When she’s not reading, writing, or hunting for collectibles, her family lets her tag along for camping adventures, daylong paddles, and hikes up 4,000 footers.
Though Equilibrium is fiction, Lorrie had the very real experience of coping with mental illness in her own family when her oldest son was diagnosed with schizophrenia while she was writing the book. For support and education regarding mental illness, she recommends that readers visit NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.