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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Visibles

Shepard, Sara.  The Visibles.

When Summer Davis is fifteen, her mother leaves.  No explanation, no forwarding address, no future contact as Summer grows into adulthood.  If that weren't enough for a moody adolescent to deal with, Summer's dad sinks from depression into mental illness, and it is Summer who must care for him as his condition worsens. 

As Summer searches for answers to her mother's abandonment and her father's illness, she finds herself postponing her own life.  She forgoes the opportunity for graduate study because her father is scheduled for electro-shock therapy treatments.  Even when her father appears to be on the road to recovery, Summer finds herself still in limbo.

Sometimes slow, the author kept me interested in the characters.    Not all of the resolution rang true for me, but the struggle of an adolescent to deal with a mother's abandonment and a father's illness felt realistic.

My favorite character: Aunt Stella, who had the personality to carry a book on her own.

Fiction.  Psychological novel.  2009.  322 pages.


  1. I have a copy of this book and hope to read it soon. You have me looking forward to Aunt Stella. :)

    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. Anna - Stella is a true eccentric!

  3. When is this set? I'm just curious because of the electro-shock treatments, if it's meant to be long ago or modern times.

  4. Jenny - It is a contemporary setting, and although still controversial, ECT is very different from the practice years ago.

    I was curious, too. Here are 2 links that discuss the modern version and when it might be used:

    Mayo Clinic

    Sherman Nulan on TED talking about the history and his own treatment for severe depression. Nulan is a surgeon and credits ECT with saving his life.

  5. You have me looking forward to Aunt Stella.

    your healthy choice