Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She didn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is going to use her persuasive skills to get the staff on her side.
Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place.
I read this in one sitting, emotionally engaged with it from the very first words, pretty much down to the vibrant, lyrical main protagonist voice – Hannah is quite simply brilliant, alive on the page and about to face a battle against everything she thought she knew.
A Danger To Herself And Others is a beautifully written tale with a focus on mental illness and sense of self that is hugely thought provoking and genuinely authentic in that sense and feel. It has the benefit of being quirky and unpredictable, you discover things as Hannah does, you take every step of the journey with her, the highs, the lows and everything inbetween.
It is melancholy and often unsettling, the supporting characters are cleverly interwoven and you come out the other side of it feeling really quite tearful.
Whilst the author allows, in her afterword, that some likelihoods and timings are not necessarily accurate, the heart of the story is right there and full of the truths that matter- Hannah is one of the most memorable characters I’ve read in fiction for a while and this is a novel that will stay with me for a long time.
Lots of love for this one. Paced with dignity, pitch perfect character driven drama that digs deep.