Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Great Place for a Seizure by Terry Tracy

As a woman also wearing the brand, "disabled," I was eager to read this book. It's a fictional tale, the life of a Chilean American girl whose life is dramatically changed forever at the age of 14. No, it's not drugs, alcohol, or divorce. It's epilepsy. Mischa is afflicted with seizures. They come out of nowhere, they are sometimes tiny and barely noticeable and other times, huge resulting in bruises, chipped teeth, appalled bystanders...
A Great Place for a Seizure"During that time every table corner was knife, the floor was a sledgehammer, and each step was a cliff.."
The book has an amazing start. I enjoyed the parts with Mischa as a young girl moving from Chile to America, visiting numerous doctors. I enjoyed her sarcasm about her affliction, her witty thoughts about a Frenchman coming up with petit mal and grand mal while eating pastries. I also liked how when first faced with prejudice regarding her condition, she stands up for herself. When told, "I think you should pull out of the race for student body president. You are epileptic and that would interfere with the job," she says she's running anyway...

Later, as an adult, she deals with people that either baby her after a seizure or look at her with disgust. At one place of employment, they even contemplate denying her health insurance. When she goes to college, her roommate reveals that "I was forewarned by the college. They wrote a letter asking me if I was comfortable having a roommate with a disability." 

Mischa doesn't feel she has a disability... this is rampant throughout the novel. It raises the question: What exactly is a disability and who has the right to brand others as having one?

Mischa carries on with life, however, she has romances, deals with the death of her mother, travels to Guatemala, England, works with a former president.... 

I have some quibbles, however: 1. For some reason, the writing style suddenly becomes a LOT of telling rather than showing once it reaches the point where Mischa is working with a former president. When she starts work for a human rights organization, it gets pretty bad with that. LOTS of explaining, little experiencing. Up till this point, it was great. 2. Characters I couldn't care less about began entering the book. Examples: A priest that likes barbecue. Clarissa and Christopher... I didn't feel they impacted the novel enough to be included. There is paragraphs about these people and I was like, "why?" 

Thus, three stars. I liked it, especially the parts about life with epilepsy, the incompetence of doctors just switching her from medication to medication, the risks of having seizures anytime anyplace, the reactions from those around her. I found it very enlightening.

I recieved this in ebook format from the author.

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