West Bloomfield Township Public Library
⮜ More Featured Titles

Disabilities and Illnesses

These books offer stories displaying illnesses, disabilities and different abilities in fiction.

The secret of clouds : a novel by Richman, Alyson

Katya, a rising ballerina, and Sasha, a graduate student, are young and in love when an unexpected tragedy befalls their native Kiev. Years later, after the couple has safely immigrated to America, the consequences of this incident cause their son, Yuri, to be born with a rare health condition which isolates him from other children. Maggie, a passionate and dedicated teacher, agrees to tutor Yuri at his home, even though she is haunted by her own painful childhood memories. As the two forge a deep and soulful connection, Yuri's boundless curiosity and unique wisdom inspire Maggie to make difficult changes in her own life. And she'll never realize just how strong Yuri has made her until she needs that strength the most

Flying at night by Brown, Rebecca L

"An emotionally charged novel about family -- the slow accumulation of wrongs that drive us apart and the unlikely paths that lead us home again. Piper Hart has poured all her energy into raising her son, Fred, while her often-absent husband, Isaac, has poured all his energy into a career defending the wrongly accused. She's always told herself her son is perfectly normal, but somewhere deep inside her rests a tiny suspicion that all is not well. Her whole world is leveled when her son is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Nine-year-old Fred has just traded in a fascination with airplanes for the gruesome details of World War II, which he knows by heart. But besides his mother and his grandfather's border collie, Chuck Yeager, Fred is an island. Lance "the Silver Eagle" Whitman is Piper's father, a national hero, and a raging narcissist. A heart attack leaves Lance in a coma, but, much to his family's distress, he doesn't die. When Lance wakes up with a traumatic brain injury, his wife decides thatafter a lifetime of emotional and verbal abuse, she is walking away, and Piper must decide what will become of her once-proud tyrant of a father. Piper chooses to bring him home, where both Fred and Lance, misunderstood by the world around them, begin toconnect" --

Still life with monkey by Weber, Katharine

Duncan Wheeler is a successful architect who savors the quotidian pleasures in life until a car accident leaves him severely paralyzed and haunted by the death of his young assistant. Now, Duncan isn’t sure what there is left to live for, when every day has become “a broken series of unsuccessful gestures.” Duncan and his wife, Laura, find themselves in conflict as Duncan’s will to live falters. Laura grows desperate to help him. An art conservator who has her own relationship to the repair of broken things, Laura brings home a highly trained helper monkey—a tufted capuchin named Ottoline—to assist Duncan with basic tasks. Duncan and Laura fall for this sweet, comical, Nutella-gobbling little creature, and Duncan’s life appears to become more tolerable, fuller, and funnier. Yet the question persists: Is it enough? Katharine Weber is a masterful observer of humanity, and Still Life with Monkey, full of tenderness and melancholy, explores the conflict between the will to live and the desire to die

The duke with the dragon tattoo by Byrne, Kerrigan

He's known only as The Rook. He remembers waking up in a mass grave with rage dissolving his soul. He has no memory of his past. His family. His sins. His name. And when his escape from the grave leaves him collapsed, he is rescued by the most beautiful young woman he's ever laid eyes on. A woman who could maybe, just perhaps, heal the broken parts of him. If only he knew who he was. Lorelai Weatherstroke is comprised of three monumental days in her life. The day her cruel brother shattered her leg and left her crippled for life. The day she rescued the broken, dark angel beneath the ash tree at the age of sixteen. And the day he left her house, her care, and her heart, never to return again. But even twenty years later, she recognizes Ash, The Rook, instantly, as he comes surging back into her life to avenge her tormentors. But he has more enemies than the Devil waiting to hunt him down. Ash has already claimed Lorelai in his heart, but can he win back her love as he keeps her safe?

Me before you : a novel by Moyes, Jojo

"They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life--steady boyfriend, close family--who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident. Will has always lived a huge life--big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel--and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy--but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn't have less in common--a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart? "--

Half a king by Abercrombie, Joe

Heir to the throne Yarvi, prompted by the murder of his father, embarks on a kingdom-transforming journey to regain the throne, even though having only one good hand means he cannot wield a weapon

The golden egg : a Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery by Leon, Donna

At the request of his wife, Commissario Brunetti looks into the death of deaf, mentally disabled man who worked at their dry-cleaners and uncovers a mystery when the man left no official records and his mother is reluctant to speak to him

The story of beautiful girl by Simon, Rachel

In 1968, Lynnie, a white woman with a disability, and Homan, a deaf African-American man, are languishing in a mental institution. After Lynnie becomes pregnant, she escapes with Homan and they are taken in by Martha, a widow who owns a farmhouse. When authorities find them, Homan escapes and Lynnie is captured, while Martha hides Lynnie's newborn baby. Over the next 40 years, Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia lead divided lives

A very simple crime by Jerkins, Grant

Assistant D.A. Leo Hewitt investigates a woman's murder, discovering an emotionally disturbed wife, a husband who would do anything to escape his marriage, and a mentally handicapped adult son under suspicion

The sound and the fury : the corrected text by Faulkner, William

The story of the tragic Caddy Compson, as seen through the eyes of her three brothers--the idiot Benjy, the neurotic Quentin, and the monstrous Jason

The look-alike by Spindler, Erica

Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother's paranoid delusions. Now, she's returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life. In her mother's shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head -that it was she who had been the killer's target that night. And now, with it, a new fear-that the killer not only intended to remedy his past mistake-he's already begun. But are these fears any different from the ones that torment her mother? As the walls close in, the line between truth and lie, reality and delusion disintegrate. Has Sienna's worst nightmare come true? Or will she unmask a killer and finally prove she may be her mother's look-alike, but she's not her clone?

Before she knew him : a novel by Swanson, Peter

From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing--the hair-raising tale of a young suburban wife who believes a killer is living right next door. And fears only the next murder, maybe her own, will make everyone believe her

Halibut on the moon by Vann, David

In his riveting new novel, internationally bestselling New York Times Notable author and Prix Medicis ⥴ranger-winner David Vann reimagines his father's final days. Halibut on the Moon traces the roots of mental illness in one man's life as he attempts to anchor himself to the places and people that once shaped his sense of identity. Middle-aged and deeply depressed, Jim arrives in California from Alaska and surrenders himself to the care of his brother Gary, who intends to watch over him. Swinging unpredictably from manic highs to extreme lows, Jim wanders ghost-like through the remains of his old life attempting to find meaning in his tattered relationships with family and friends. As sessions with his therapist become increasingly combative and his connections to others seem ever more tenuous, Jim is propelled forwardby his thoughts, which have the potential to lead him, despairingly, to his end. Halibut on the Moon is a searing exploration of a man held captive by the dark logic of depression and struggling mightily to wrench himself free. In vivid and haunting prose, Vann offers us an aching portrait of a mind in peril, searching desperately for some hope of redemption

Rosie colored glasses by Wolfson, Brianna

Eleven year old Willow's marrow burns with the friction of having to navigate the two homes of her newly divorced parents, when all she truly wants is to be with her mother Rosie. As Willow struggles to make sense of her world of extreme love and extreme loneliness, she learns how sometimes all the love in the world is not enough to save someone, no matter how hard one wishes for it—how the human heart can bend and break, but how it can also heal and is resilient enough to love again

Since we fell : a novel by Lehane, Dennis

Rachel Childs is a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel's marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths

Best friends forever by Roby, Kimberla Lawson

"Things are falling apart in the Richardson household. Angry arguments between Celine and her husband, Keith, have become routine. She resents that he's working long hours and staying out all night, and he accuses her of not giving him the attention he deserves. Their marriage is at a cross-roads and Celine worries how her 10-year-old daughter, Kassie, will be affected. But the situation turns devastating when Celine is diagnosed with breast cancer. As her relationship with Keith deteriorates, Celine worries that she'll be left to navigate the difficult process of cancer treatment alone. But comfort and support come in the form of Celine's best friend, Lauren. They've been attached at the hip since they were children and it is Lauren who's there for Celine in her darkest moments. Now, Celine will be forced to make tough decisions-about her marriage and otherwise-and for the first time in her life, she wants to give up. Lauren vows to help by any means necessary and makes the kind of sacrifice only a best friend can. But will it be too late? "--

The wanting life : a novel by Rader, Mark

"Set in Rome, Cape Cod, and Wisconsin over the course of the summer of 2009, and Rome during the spring of 1970, The Wanting Life tells the intertwined story of three members of the Novak family: Father Paul, a closeted gay Catholic priest who’s dying of cancer and has secrets he desperately wants to share; Britta, his self-destructive sister and caretaker, who’s struggling to find meaning in a world without her beloved husband; and Maura, Britta’s daughter―a thirty-nine-year-old artist who’s facing a choice between her husband and two children, or the man she believes is her one, true love."--Amazon

You and me and us : a novel by Hammer, Alison

"Alexis Gold knows how to put the work in working mom. It's the mom part that she's been struggling with lately. Since opening her own advertising agency three years ago, Alexis has all but given up on finding a good work/life balance. Instead, she's handed over the household reins to her supportive, loving partner, Tommy. While he's quick to say they divide and conquer, Alexis knows that Tommy does most of the heavy lifting--especially when it comes to their teenage daughter, CeCe. Their world changes in an instant when Tommy receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, and Alexis realizes everything she's worked relentlessly for doesn't matter without him. So Alexis does what Tommy has done for her almost every day since they were twelve-year-old kids in Destin, Florida--she puts him first. And when the only thing Tommy wants is to spend one last summer together at their beach, she puts her career on hold to make it happen ... even if it means putting her family within striking distance of Tommy's ex, an actress CeCe idolizes. But Alexis and Tommy aren't the only ones whose lives have been turned inside out. In addition to dealing with the normal ups and downs that come with being a teenager, CeCe is also forced to confront her feelings about Tommy's illness--and what will happen when the one person who's always been there for her is gone. When the magic of first love brings a bright spot to her summer, CeCe is determined not to let her mother ruin that for her, too. As CeCe's behavior becomes more rebellious, Alexis realizes the only thing harder for her than losing Tommy will be convincing CeCe to give her one more chance."--Amazon

Wildland : a novel by Hodge, Rebecca

When breast cancer-survivor Kat Jamison retreats to the Blue Ridge Mountains, she's counting on peace and solitude to help her make a difficult decision. Her cancer has returned, but can she face yet another round of chemotherapy? Or is it time to stop fighting? Self-reflection quickly proves impossible as her getaway is complicated by a pair of abandoned dogs and two friendly children staying nearby, Lily and Nirav. In no time at all, Kat's quiet seclusion is invaded by the happy confusion of children and pets. But when lightning ignites a raging forest fire, Kat's cabin is cut off from the rest of the camp, separating Lily and Nirav from their parents. Left with no choice, Kat, the children, and the dogs must flee on foot through the drought-stricken forest, away from the ravenous flames. As a frantic rescue mission is launched, Kat drives the party deeper into the mountains to escape the inferno. She'll do anything to save four innocent lives, but in order to save her own, Kat must discover the fire inside--her own burning will to survive

Waiting for Bojangles : a novel by Bourdeaut, Olivier

The runaway international bestseller-shortlisted for one of France's highest literary prizes-a dark, funny, and wholly charming novel about a young boy and his eccentric family who grapple with the realities of mental illness in unique and whimsical ways. A young boy lives with his madcap parents, Louise and George, and an exotic bird in a Parisian apartment, where the unopened mail rises in a tower by the door, the bird acts like a member of the family, and his parents dance to Nina Simone's mellifluous classic Mister Bojangles. As his mother, mesmerizing and unpredictable, descends deeper into mental illness, it is up to the boy and his father to keep her safe and, when that fails, happy. Fleeing Paris for a country home in Spain, they come to understand that some of the most radiant people bear the heaviest burdens. Told from the perspective of a young boy who idolizes his parents and from George's journals, detailing the epic love story with his wife, this charming, heartbreaking gem of a novel will stay with you long after the final page. As we read, their love story becomes ours
⮜ More Featured Titles
National Medal Recipient of the National Medal, the nation's highest honor for libraries.