2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Book Review: A Great Place for a Seizure by Terry Tracy

Okay, we’re going a little off track here with some extra book reviews because I’ve gotten more than a bit behind and haven’t been able to deliver them on time… So you’re going to see a few extras on days other than Tuesdays this month.

The first of these, A Great Place for a Seizure, is a novel about life with epilepsy. My review copy was provided courtesy of the author, Terry Tracy.

A Great Place for a Seizure reads like a memoir. In fact, several times in the beginning I had to recheck the author’s name to make sure I wasn’t in fact reading one. After reading the author’s biography, I realized why the book rang so authentically in that regard – the author does, in fact, have epilepsy.

I have always been intrigued when an author writes a fictionalized story that tracks elements or conditions of his/her “real” life. I never really understood why until I started writing myself. The adage, “write what you know”, is an adage for a reason – it is much easier to do, first of all, and second, it happens even when you don’t mean it to. I have been surprised how many of my characters turned out to be lawyers, avid readers, and single-for-a-long-time women – even when they didn’t start out that way. What we know so shapes who we are and how we think that it sneaks in and colors our words in ways most of us don’t even realize.

But I digress. Heavily. As I am wont to do. Sorry Terry, back to the review!

As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, the novel is the evolutionary story of Mischa Dunn’s experience with epilepsy, starting with her early childhood when no one (including Mischa and especially including her Chilean immigrant mother) could figure out what exactly was going on when she experienced ever-increasing seizures. As her life – and her epilepsy – progresses, Mischa learns to not only live with the condition but to come to terms with it and the role her seizures play in her life.

The story is nicely written and Mischa’s experiences do, as I mentioned earlier, have an authentic ring that holds true throughout the novel. At times I found the pacing a little slower than I normally like, but the author’s dedication to explaining what it means to lose time – and control – during seizures is sincere and obviously heartfelt and that generally made up for prose that might have otherwise felt too slow-going.

Tracy manages to tell Mischa’s tale in a realistic, no-holds-barred fashion without wallowing in any self-pity or devolving into anger or bitterness – no small task. She should be commended indeed for that, I think. All too many authors tend to veer wildly in the opposite direction – a tendency that makes me as a reader cringe and close a book. So well done Terry!

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2 comments to Book Review: A Great Place for a Seizure by Terry Tracy

  • I love reading reviews of books I’ve read. I really enjoyed this book. She has changed the cover since I read it which is a shame – I loved the other one – but a fascinating book, none the less. Great review!

    • Thanks for the compliment – I always enjoy reading reviews of things I’ve read too, always curious to see how other people felt about a story. What did you think – I’m curious to hear if you agreed with my points/felt there were other things to mention!

      And the cover was different on my copy too – white with the heads… I liked it better than the newer, plainer one too! 🙂

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