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Monday, 15 September 2014

This Reviewer Says, “Fantastic”

My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel is the story of two people who don’t quite know how to live in the world—the man, Brian, because of debilitating anxiety, the girl, Abigail because of instability and abuse—and their journey to learn from each other. Very slowly but surely, the novel is beginning to emerge from its own shell and get out into the world.

As it does, I’m tempted to hide in my own nutshell! I’m always anxious about whether readers will enjoy what I write. As a “parent,” my wish for Brian and Abigail is that they be welcomed into people’s hearts.

From time to time I check for review comments. I share with you a recent Amazon review by Madam Librarian “Erin”:

“It's hard to write about anxiety disorders and mental health in a novel and make it believable but Tanya J. Peterson has managed to do it... again. Her first novel, "Leave of Absence," dealt with the effects of grief and schizophrenia, "My Life in a Nutshell" deals with extreme anxiety. Peterson crafts together an emotional, gripping tale of severe debilitating anxiety that gets you so worked up and involved, that it's as if you are personally suffering through it. It's almost painful, but it's so eye opening and humbling to realize that thousands of people have to deal with these types of emotions daily and there isn't always a happy ending for them. People suffering from anxiety are seriously misunderstood lonely souls and Peterson deftly brings their plight to readers.

Brian is a lonely soul. His beloved pet dog has just died and he is now on his own. Getting out of bed and going to work was hard enough before, but now without his trusty companion the depression, anxiety, and panic attacks threaten to overtake Brian completely. Solitary by nature, Brian works the night shift as a custodian to a local school and avoids human interaction whenever possible. A trip to the store is enough to cause a panic attack, talking to people is downright painful for him. Brian is perpetually scared he will say the wrong thing, look stupid, or be socially awkward. As if things couldn't get worse for Brian, his mother has insisted he see a counselor and a troubled child at the school has taken to following Brian around. Perhaps, both of these new people in his life can help him address what is holding him back from having a happy fulfilled life?

Another great novel from award winning author, Tanya J. Peterson. She humanizes anxiety and makes it easier for readers to understand just how horrific it is by portraying the story through Brian's eyes and having the reader suffer through all the panic attacks and insecurity that he is dealing with. Truly eye opening and well deserving of the Kirkus star it received.”

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