We've become a race of Peeping Toms. What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change. - Stella, Rear Window (1954)
Doctor Anna Fox has agoraphobia, the fear of going outside, thanks to the ravaging PTSD that settled in after a near-fatal accident during New England winter over a year ago. Anna has been confined to her house in Harlem for 10 months. Even worse, her beloved husband Ed has left her and has taken their eight-year-old daughter Olivia with him. Her successful child psychology firm is being run alone by her business partner. The only contacts Anna has with the outside world are her own psychologist Dr. Fielding, a specialist in agoraphobia; her physical therapist Bina, who helps heal her broken leg; and the helpful, young, attractive tenant David, who lives in the basement in what used to be Ed's office.
Forty-seven-year-old Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, move to Littleton, Colorado. Both get excellent jobs in their respective fields: Caelum as a high school English teacher and Maureen as a nurse. Their great opportunities are at a high school named Columbine.
One of my favorite customers called me to tell me that he loved the book Until Tuesday. I am sure that this story about a veteran spoke to him since he is also a veteran who happens to love dogs.
Until Tuesday is the true story of a highly-decorated Iraqi war veteran who returns home as a war hero. However, Luis Carlos Montalvan has such incredible injuries to his body and his psyche that he cannot cope with everyday life. He hovers on the brink of suicide until he meets Tuesday, a golden retriever who also had an emotionally difficult journey to get to Luis.
In The Freak Observer, by Blythe Woolston, Loa Lindgren is not your typical 16-year-old and yet she is a quintessential one. Her life is certainly not the ideal. In the past year her family has fallen apart, having lost the one thing that their lives revolved around: her little sister, Asta, named for the stars. Born with Rett’s syndrome, she stopped growing after a few months and was destined to remain infantile her entire life, until she suddenly died. Without the constant need to care for Asta, Loa and her family are like planets without a star to revolve around, cut loose to wander the universe. They are, of course, also stricken with grief, each one reacting in their own way. Her father has fits of violence. Loa wakes screaming from nightmares--just one terrifying symptom of a case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).