The Book of Susan: A Novel (Paperback)

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The Book of Susan: A Novel (Paperback)


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“Profound and compulsively readable.” —Silas House, author of Southernmost

New from a fresh voice in literary fiction comes this riveting deep-dive into one woman's experience with bipolar disorder and God.

Her mind has never failed her—until an ill-fated dinner party.  Meet Dr. Susan Huffman: wife to chancery court judge Samuel Ellison, mother to adorable Ian, and college professor on track for tenure. She’s a woman who has always lived by her mind, with a plan and a purpose. But then new-in-town Lorraine Davis accepts an invitation to Susan and Samuel’s home, and the mysterious visions begin. Is God warning Susan about this newcomer? And if so, how can she protect her circle of friends, her family, and her life as she knows it?  The Book of Susan is the spare and sympathetic recounting of a journey—from derailment, to diagnosis, to the discovery of a lifetime.
A native of east Tennessee, poet and novelist Melanie K. Hutsell has been learning to live with bipolar disorder for more than fifteen years. She holds a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA in English from Indiana University at Bloomington, and an MBA from East Tennessee State University. A lay member of the United Methodist Church, an avid reader, and music lover, she currently resides in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Product Details ISBN: 9781640607675
ISBN-10: 1640607676
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: July 19th, 2022
Pages: 224
Language: English
“In The Book of Susan, Hutsell takes the mysteries of the highs and lows of bi-polar illness and skillfully intertwines them on the page. Written from the unique perspective of Susan—the one who discovers her diagnosis—it’s a page-turner of story and yet a book to be slowly studied for the genuine wisdom it reveals.”  —Katherine James, author of Can You See Anything Now? and A Prayer for Orion
“Profound and compulsively readable, The Book of Susan complexifies typical notions of Appalachia and offers us an unforgettable character in lyrical and accessible prose. Hutsell is a literary stylist who knows how to keep the reader in her grip.” —Silas House, author of Southernmost
“A riveting first-person account of a woman’s realization that she suffers from Bipolar I disorder. Hutsell’s protagonist accepts, overcomes, and reinvents her life through her newfound faith, discovered quite by accident due to the disease’s delusions. ‘God fled me on those days,’ she tells us when her illness begins to tear apart her carefully planned life. But Susan emerges transformed, and without sanctimony gives an account of the power of spiritual seeking to pick up the shattered pieces of life. Anyone who encounters a mental disorder in themselves or a loved one will be gripped by this powerful, raw, honest and intriguing voice.” —Rita Sims Quillen, author of Wayland