Every woman seeks it, sometimes despairing of ever finding it. For some, this delicate balance between life, work, family, marriage, and relationships is more elusive than for others. In Lorrie Thompson’s novel, Equilibrium, Laura Klein is struggling to get her life back on an even keel after her husband’s suicide. It’s been a year since Jack’s death, but the effects of his mental illness linger. Their 15-year old daughter Darcy starts dating a boy who is older in every way. Their 13-year old son Troy is beginning to demonstrate subtle signs that he may have inherited his father’s bipolar disorder. And then, a new man enters Laura’s life, setting her even further off-kilter (but in a rather delightful way.)
Laura Klein has devoted the past 10 years to managing her husband’s illness and career. A popular novelist, Jack Klein became his young wife’s project, almost from the moment they met when she was his writing student. Not only did she keep him shored up through his bouts of depression, she also helped him revise and rewrite his novels, to the point that the lines of demarcation about whose book it was began to blur. In doing so, Laura has put her own writing dreams aside. By novel’s end, she has begun to find her own creative footing, and explore her own unique writer’s voice.
The domestic drama in Equilibrium keeps the reader interested, although not riveted. Of all the characters, I became the most attached to Darcy, a young woman reeling from her father’s loss and working very hard to put all the life lessons she’s learned together while balancing a new relationship and her own burgeoning sexuality. As she teeters on the brink of disaster, she manages to pull herself back together in an admirable way.
Thompson portrays a family in crisis, working to get their lives back into some semblance of normal. Her novel touches on the way mental illness- specifically bipolar disorder – can devastate an entire family. Though the book is fiction, Thompson has very real experience dealing with mental illness. Her own son was diagnosed with schizophrenia during the time she was writing this book. But the Klein family demonstrates that there is hope if you’re willing to remain open to new possibilities.
I recommend this novel if you are interested in bipolar disorder; enjoy women’s fiction and family dramas; and especially if you’re a fan of happy endings.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read this book.