Just In Time

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Steve, a forty-eight-year-old schizophrenic, doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone, but when his father dies suddenly, the family rallies to determine what to do with Steve, knowing he can’t stay in his Ohio childhood home alone. His sister, Sylvia, and brother, Scott, devastated by the news of their father’s death, return to Ohio to determine what to do with Steve. Ultimately, Sylvia’s sister-in-law, Nancy, in need of a place to stay herself, is chosen to be Steve’s new caretaker.

Based on writer Joan L. Jackson’s own family, Just in Time is both an examination of schizophrenia and its impact on a family, as well as a study in grief. As the family struggles to handle loss and misfortune, they learn to rely on each other and to let go of the things they cannot change. As much as the story focuses on Steve and his needs, it is also very much the story of Sylvia, his devoted sister, who wants what is best for him but cannot give his situation all of her time and attention, as she is also dealing with her son’s addiction to heroine and her own dissatisfaction with her life.

As the novel moves forward, it feels like reading a diary. The moments are intimate, the dialogue sincere, and the conflicts real. When Steve determines he may wish to try living alone, despite the fears the family has about his independence, the group comes together to determine if this is something he can do and they can support. The book is a perfect read for anyone interested in the authentic struggles of a family trying to move forward, because, as Nancy says, eventually, “We’re all moving on.”

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher She Writes Press
Publish Date 2017-Oct-24
ISBN 9781631522642
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue January 2018
Category Popular Fiction


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