Set in rural New Hampshire, Halfway House tells the story of the Voorster family, whose lives are upended when 17-year-old Angie suffers a breakdown and is eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As Angie shuffles between hospitals, dorm rooms, halfway houses, and her childhood home, the side effects of her disease and treatment impact each member of her family. Her father Pieter, a Dutch-born cellist, retreats into himself, while her mother Jordana begins an affair. Angie's brother Luke finds comfort in his girlfriends, especially Wendy, whom he meets while at college in Wisconsin. Eventually, familial relationships must be broken in order to be reinvented. In the process, family dynamics must shift, and each character must confront their own demons in order to emerge on the other side.
From One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to Girl, Interrupted, the subject of mental illness is hardly uncharted in modern literature. What Noel does is go beyond the disease to explore the consequences of crisis, both punishing and redemptive, without compromise or excuses. That is what makes Halfway House a wonder, and a pleasure to behold. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I enjoyed this novel based on a high school student who has mental illness. Although some of the family dynamics seem improbable, the part about the toll of mental illness rang... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Pamele
"Halfway House" was, in my view, an excellent depiction of mental illness but as a novel, got confused and seemed to lose direction. Read morePublished on February 28, 2013 by Nancy Babendir
Noel does a nice job of characterization. I laughed out loud many times. The reader gets to know the characters well, but this isn't necessarily a great thing. Read morePublished on February 19, 2009 by P. Lineberry
Set in rural New Hampshire, Halfway house tells the story of the Voorster family whose lives are upended when 17-year-old Angie suffers a breakdown and is eventually diagnosed with... Read morePublished on November 8, 2008 by Nancy
I expected this novel to focus more on the life of a person with bi-polar disorder, and/or the effect of the illness on her family. Read morePublished on July 25, 2008 by Elaine
It is very apparent that Katherine Noel is a wonderfully gifted story writer. Readers who enjoy works by Jodi Picoult (as I do) will surely enjoy Ms. Noel's style of writing. Read morePublished on April 23, 2008 by Heather White
I enjoy reading books about mental health issues, as I am a long-time sufferer of depression. This was very believable, but I did have trouble keeping track of the characters. Read morePublished on February 27, 2008 by Happily Retired
First of all, I loved the novel. However, I wish that Ms. Noel either had conceived a different ending or (if she did) had possessed the courage to allow it to play out. Read morePublished on December 30, 2007 by Bill Shea
I'm not quite sure how to feel about this book. On the one hand I thought the author did a great job in describing Angie and her illness. Read morePublished on December 4, 2007 by Tracy L.