R E V I E W S
“With simplicity and humor, her story testifies to the fierce, universal human need for self-expression.”
— People Magazine, Best New Books Pick
"Adelman’s debut novel is a moving story of grief, resilience, and self-actualization...Adelman fully inhabits Lucy’s voice, and the resulting tale is as realistic as it is uplifting."
“Lucy’s narrative is sensitive, witty, and illuminating. Her innate connection to Gus, the Central Park polar bear, is excellently drawn. Her journey and the evolution of her relationships offer a rare glance at the unknowable.”
— Library Journal, starred review
"Lean in...for the relationship between brother and sister, for its evolution as Lucy builds the strength and willingness both to take care of herself and to recognize and accept Nate’s shortcomings. The chronicle of this incremental shift is peppered with her drawings of people and animals—all done by the author’s sister—which play no small role in making Lucy’s often hazy perspective feel sharply real. This labor of love pens a soft-edged portrait of a subject who struggles to grasp complexity."
"Adelman deserves props for transforming a story about loss into a delightful page-turner packed full of warmth, humor, and bubbling, sparkling joy."
— The National Book Review
"Nobody puts Lucy in a corner, and the more one watches her dance the more one wants to take the floor and join her."
"Adelman beautifully conveys Lucy’s idiosyncratic voice and outlook on the world, including her blunt observations on the people she meets... She resists pat, too-easy endings, and instead focuses on realistically depicting Lucy’s strengths and weaknesses, humor, failings and tentative steps toward believing in her own capabilities."
“Piece of Mind is such a beautiful debut, one that will indelibly imprint the reader with Lucy’s unique voice and vision. She channels the raw states of grief and joy and bewilderment with such a pure-hearted intensity. Her New York is a flickery frontier, exciting and scary, where she toggles between states of numbness and excruciating sensitivity. Michelle Adelman is so articulate about what we know and cannot say, what we can barely stand to know, and what we bravely face each day as individuals in families, together and alone.”
— Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!
“From the first page of Piece of Mind, I fell in love with Lucy, its quirky, brave, funny heroine. And that feeling grew as she navigates her changing, often confusing, world. Michelle Adelman has created an unforgettable character and an unforgettable story.”
— Ann Hood, author of An Italian Wife and The Knitting Circle
“Piece of Mind is animated by sense and innocence. Michelle Adelman has written a truly charming novel full of humor and warmth. Sex and drugs and polar bears abound.”
— Cathleen Schine, author of Fin and Lady and The Three Weissmanns of Westport
“Like the Tourettes-ticcing Lionel Essrog in Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn, or the obsessive-compulsive Mona Gray in Aimee Bender's An Invisible Sign of My Own, Michelle Adelman's heroine—and she definitely is that—travels a path that is by nature solitary, yet intersects with all that is best in ourselves. I hope you'll root for Lucy's success as much as I do.”
— Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and the Jinni
“Piece of Mind is compulsively readable, built around a set of relatable, engaging characters and a compelling central problem for its protagonist.”
— Liz Moore, author of Heft