A Voice in the DistancePaperback
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- Publisher: Definitions
- Format: Paperback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 18mm | 181g
- Publication date: 1 May 2008
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 186230355X
- ISBN 13: 9781862303553
- Sales rank: 153,203
In his final year at the Royal College of Music, star pianist Flynn Laukonen has the world at his feet. He has moved in with his girlfriend Jennah and is already getting concert bookings for what promises to be a glittering career. Yet he knows he is skating on thin ice - only two small pills a day keep him from plunging back into the whirlpool of manic depression that once threatened to destroy him. Unexpectedly his friends seem to be getting annoyed with him for no apparent reason, he needs less and less sleep, he is filled with unbridled energy. Events begin to spiral out of control and Flynn suddenly finds himself in hospital, heavily sedated, carnage left behind him. The medication isn't working any more, the dose needs to be increased, and depression strikes again, this time with horrific consequences. His freedom is snatched away and the medicine's side-effects threaten to jeopardize his chances in one of the biggest piano competitions of his life. It seems like he has to make a choice between the medication and his career. But in all this he has forgotten the one person he would give his life for, and Flynn suddenly finds himself facing the biggest sacrifice of all.
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Tabitha Suzuma was born in 1975 and lives in London. She has always loved writing and would regularly get into trouble at the French Lycee for writing stories instead of listening in class. She used to work as a primary school teacher and now divides her time between writing and tutoring. Her first novel, A Note of Madness was published to great critical acclaim.
By Stephanie Forster (Stepping out of the Page) 05 Nov 2011
I enjoyed reading this book as it was quite effective and very realistic. Flynn has bipolar disorder and this is what the book is based around - showing Flynn's actions, decisions and the impact that it has upon his family and friends - especially with his girlfriend, Jennah. I think the two prominent aspects of Bipolar Disorder (manic and depressive episodes) were portrayed well. The story was authentic and the struggles both Flynn and Jennah faced felt genuine. It didn't feel as though things were simply happening to make it an interesting plot but because these things could and probably would happen. It made me sit back and think about what they were going through - was Flynn just in his decision whether or not to take his mood stabilizers? Was the end decision ultimately the best for the both of them? The ending absolutely crushed me - it was heartbreaking but it really packed an emotional punch. A really intriguing and gratifying book.
"With studies showing one in 10 children have a mental health disorder, this is a topical book with an emotional range that aids a breadth of understanding" -- The Bookseller Jake Hope "Suzuma's novel effectively demonstrates that real love, sometimes, will involve setting the loved one free" Irish Times "This is the kind of sequel that every excellent book deserves" Inis "Suzuma is a master storyteller, dealing with her characters in a very realistic and uncompromising way" Bookfest "A love story that tackles the reality of young adult depression in a thoughtful and sensitive way" Irish Independent