At twenty-seven, Lucy knows everything about coffee, comic books, and Gus (the polar bear at the Central Park Zoo), and she possesses a rare gift for drawing. But since she suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of three, she has had trouble relating to most people. She's also uncommonly messy, woefully disorganized, and incapable of holding down a regular job. When unexpected circumstances force her out of the comfortable and protective Jewish home where she was raised and into a cramped studio apartment in New York City with her college-age younger brother, she must adapt to an entirely different life--one with no safety net. Over the course of a challenging summer, Lucy is forced to discover that she has more strengths than she herself knew.
The story, told in the first person by Lucy, is uplifting and
Lucy’s daily life revolves around several key characters, each drawn with depth and perception and having a unique way of interacting with Lucy. Lucy’s exuberance at visiting the animals in the zoo and sketching them is pure joy.
Readers will find themselves rooting for this quirky heroine who faces the challenge of each day with bravery and tenacity. This is one book that will be hard to set aside before the final page has been turned.
Without Lucy, Adelman's novel would have suffered altogether too much from contrivances that saturate the plot and secondary characters (Nate and Frank excluded) that were vapid. With Lucy, Piece of Mind did the best it could. In my opinion, that would be 3.5 stars at most. I liked Lucy and I wanted better for her, but I desired a richer story that really put Lucy through the ringer without blaming her. In a different setting, a different universe, I could've really felt some deep empathy for Lucy, a sense of human connection. Here, I merely felt an affection, similar to the way a person may feel for their pet cat. Oh, you made a mess again, you rascal! I wish you'd stop breaking all my breakables, but I don't care 'cause you're so adorable and I can't help but love you.