This is part of book project where I read books focusing on bipolar disorder, or bipolar characters,
Dancing On Broken Glass is the story of Lucy and Mickey. Mickey is type 1 bipolar, usually resulting in severe manic episodes that put him in the psychiatric ward. Lucy worries a lot about cancer which has killed multiple members of her family. Despite Lucy getting her tubes tied, she gets pregnant. Then Lucy gets cancer. Then, yeah, you can see where this is going.
A lot of my issues with the book aren’t really problems with the book, but things I personally dislike. Dancing On Broken Glass takes place in this small town where everyone is in everyone’s business and everyone is super supportive of each other. Having grown-up in a small town and being rather jaded about them, I hate settings like that. Also Lucy has two sisters which are her best friends and super close, and hate that too. However, I can see other people adoring that aspect of the book.
A legitimate problem I had with the book is the first half is so bloated. I feel like there are multiple scenes where the point had already been made, and that scene could have been easily cut out. I think the first half could have been about one-third to one-half shorter if all the repetitive stuff had been cut out.
I stuck with it because I liked the character of Mickey so much. Each chapter opens up with a piece from Mickey’s pov. His character accurately portrays what it like to be bipolar. Each description matched my personal experience. That representation was exactly what I’d been hoping for. Even if I was dissatisfied with everything else about the book at that time, that was my motivation to keep reading. Mickey and I share absolutely no traits beyond being bipolar but being able to relate to the character on that level was enough.
The book did get better. When Lucy gets cancer, the book a focus and stops repeating itself. The story deals with topics of life, death, and raising a child in a mature manner, and I was hooked when it came to seeing how the story would resolve.
I’m interested in reading Ka Hancock’s next book. I’m hoping she’ll have grown a little bit as a writer, and it’ll be a completely different story, but I have total faith in it.