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Dancing on Broken Glass Paperback – March 13, 2012
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"Hancock’s debut is an authentic tearjerker—an intimate and touching story that will remain in readers’ hearts."
"In a world of Nicholas Sparks wannabes, there are an infinite number of ways to get a tear-jerking romance wrong. Ka Hancock’s lovely, heartbreaking debut novel, Dancing On Broken Glass, shows off one great way to get it right. ... She grounds her emotionally wrenching situations in beautifully detailed characters—including the amazing interplay between Lucy and her two sisters—and uses her background in nursing to provide compelling texture for the medical dramas. As those characters struggle to understand the connection between love and mortality, Hancock fills her pages with a rich, optimistic spirituality that never feels oppressive. Get ready for a good, cleansing cry built on real, tangled humanity rather than forced tragedy."
—Salt Lake City Weekly
About the Author
Ka Hancock has two nursing degrees and has spent most of her career working with psychiatric and substance abuse patients. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and has four children. Dancing on Broken Glass is her first novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall, I liked the book. It was a good story and that is what I needed. I chose it to help me get through a long airplane ride across eleven time zones, and it worked well for that purpose. It held my attention and kept me entertained despite continual interruptions. Yes, it is a tearjerker...but I have to say that even I, a dyed-in-the-wool highbrow literature lover, enjoy that genre once in a while.
Basically, it is a story where almost all the action and dialog deals with relationships. You intimately get to know the two main characters, Lucy and Mickey. Mickey is the one with the mood disorder. But the book also focuses just as keenly on the very close relationships between Lucy and her two sisters. Add onto this the overwhelmingly supporting, and special relationships that both Lucy and Mickey have with their doctors, neighbors, and friends in the community, and you get a little village of ideal loving humanity...and that gets to the heart of this book. The (fictional) township of Brinley, Connecticut, becomes a significant character in this novel. Unfortunately, Brinley, as imagined by this author in this book, is all too rosy, and unrealistic--I just can't believe that any small suburban community in America could be that perfect.
In the middle of the book, Lucy looks down one of the main streets in Brinley "that could be a Thomas Kinkade painting" and says, "It was all the world I had ever needed--a place where kids could still play outside and moms sat visiting on the front porches keeping an eye out for them. It was a place where your lawn mysteriously got mowed or your walks got shoveled if you'd been sick or gone or just too busy."
After reading that passage, I saw the light. This book is like taking a group of very decent, honorable people--characters who are genuine, real, honestly flawed, and slightly damaged--and placing them in an overly idealistic Thomas Kinkade type of life setting. This is what I didn't like about the book. For me, it detracted from the overall believability of the characters and the novel. I not only want my characters real, but I want their setting to be real, too.
Personally, I've never liked Thomas Kinkade's paintings; for me, they're just too overly sentimental. But despite that, I did enjoyed this book. It was a good story and the author certainly has a gift for creating realistic characters. I only wish she'd placed these real people in a more realistic setting.
[PS-If anyone reading this review knows of another book--fiction or nonfiction--that deals with a marriage where both partners have bipolar disorder, please write a comment to let me know. I'd love to read it. ]
The story weaves a beautiful relationship of support and caring initially for the young man dealing with this mental health diagnosis. The patterns of life evolve into his challenge to provide the same level of support and caring for the young woman....
Interesting is the day to day challenges shared by these characters and always accurately portraying the influences of the health challenges. An absolutely beautiful flow of life and death issues within the boundries of a small idelic community. The story reveals human fragility and strength within each of the characters.
Highly encourage you to read this lnovel and begin the dialogue with family and friends about life's challenges with mental health diagnosis for the person, the family, the friends, and the community.