Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Great Place for a Seizure by Terry Tracy

Publisher:                CreateSpace

The author says in her biography that she's a former journalist.  That's probably where some of the problem started.  She didn't think she needed an editor.  She was wrong.

This is supposed to be a book about epilepsy and how it impacted on the life of Mischa Dunn, the main character.  It's an important subject and this book could have been extremely enlightening, but Tracy has no focus in her story.  She allows it to wander all over the place, covering topics and events that have nothing to do with Mischa dealing with her epilepsy.  There are long passages about life in Central America, how non-profit organizations in Washington, DC, function and what life at Cambridge is like.  Periodically Mischa has a seizure.  They're all described the same except that they occur in different places.  The one place where Tracy delivers is in the period when Mischa is pregnant and she discusses some of the ramifications of epilepsy on a pregnancy, but there could have been so much more.

Some messages do come through clearly.  The author doesn't like doctors and thinks they don't do a good job of treating epileptics.  That may be true, but epileptics aren't the only ones to complain about doctors not paying attention to them.  The author also doesn't like the way society reacts to epileptics.  That's a valid complaint, but it gets lost in all of the other stuff she throws in the book.  Finally, epilepsy can be very isolating for the person who has it.  That makes this book even more important in that it could have explained to people how they should react, what is the proper behavior.  Mischa scorns them however and rejects help, while thinking they're terrible.  After a while, the reader may wonder why anyone would bother trying to be her friend and why someone hasn't punched her in the face.  Instead of creating empathy for epileptics, Tracy has created a character that often acts like she doesn't know what she wants from other people.

The story just drags, then it ends.  The ending doesn't make much sense or add to the stated purpose of the book.  There is enough in this story that, if it had been given to a good editor, the unnecessary filler would have been taken out and a good story would have been left.  Too bad that's not what happened.

No comments:

Post a Comment