Part memoir and part heart-to-heart expose on the tragic and invisible lives of the underprivileged, mentally ill, disabled and homeless, you may not like all the people you will meet in this book, but you will definitely find yourself touched by them, and the circumstances they find themselves in.
Daniel, a young man living in Minnesota, is a survivor of abuse, which has left him struggling with mental health issues, including PTSD and a psychotic break serious enough to warrant a court-mandated commitment at a treatment facility.
A kind and compassionate man, Dan’s recovery is complex and far from straight-forward as he embarks on a path which involves volunteering at a food bank in a dangerous and violent downtown Minneapolis location, as well as taking on work as a personal care giver for a young quadriplegic woman, who it’s fair to say, is as unpleasant as she is unlucky.
As Dan struggles to balance his inner need to serve those in need, his failing health, his discordant and strident client ( a clear bully and narcissist, disabled or not) and his quest for validation, love and fulfillment – it becomes clear that there are no easy answers, for Dan or the reader.
As dark and bleak as most of the lives presented appear, Dan himself offers the reader a tiny ray of mostly optimistic hope peaking through his mantle of fear, hurt, and trauma. It’s not at all clear if he will survive, flourish or fail – but you cannot walk away from this story unchanged and perhaps more than a little bit aware of the beauty of compassion, and how fragile life’s tenuous hold on each of us can be.
A great big thank you to the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.