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If you have a loved one living with either one of these illnesses and would like to understand them better, then Ka Hancock’s Dancing on Broken Glass is a compelling, informative read.

Hancock, as a nurse in the clinical specialty of psychiatry, dives into the minds of Mickey and Lucy as they forge a life together while dealing with his bipolar illness and her history of breast cancer. The reader quickly becomes involved in their extensive interior lives and can’t help but root for their success. Will their love survive?

And, if you have sisters, Hancock nails the sister love/hate relationships among Lucy and her sisters Pris and Lily. During one heartbreaking scene, when one sister calls another a snot, having three sisters myself, I could identify, as well as when they spontaneously expressed their love for each other.

Plus, if you’ve dealt with the loss of parents when you were young, this book describes how that loss can play out in adult lives. Will their words that you remember provide comfort forever?

As a nurse with a background in psychiatric nursing also, I found Dancing on Broken Glass to be an accurate and educational portrayal of the challenges persons living with these illnesses deal with on a day-to-day and sometimes hour-to-hour basis.

From the first line, “I met Death at a party,” I was hooked. Reading nearly nonstop, I read most of it on my e-reader while sitting in a coffee shop. If you do the same, stuff extra tissues into your pocket. Heartwarming plot twists provide a satisfying read that can only engender empathy in the reader.