This is the first book review I have written where I do not feel competent to even begin. Emily Beaver’s powerful story truly hit me on a very personal level. My mother had been diagnosed with cancer (for the first time) when I was young. Emily’s descriptions rang true; I would have known the author had been through it without the introductions to the book.
In Slipping Reality, fourteen year old Katelyn Emerson faces the death of her beloved brother from cancer. As her brother’s condition worsens, she increasingly slips from reality into the embrace of an alternate reality, her imagination. The time spent in her fantasized world continues to increase as she loses the ability to face her brother’s growing pain and incoherence.
Two imaginary friends, Tristan and Cedric, increasingly take the place of the friends and family in Katelyn’s life. Tristan, the wise father figure serves as a source of logical comfort offering understanding stemming from his own painful past. Cedric provides a love interest and unconditional acceptance as Katelyn enters adulthood the hard way, by facing death. These figments of imagination spring from the page as well-drawn three dimensional characters while the “real” people in Katelyn’s life remain in the shadows. This contrast between her vivid fantasy life and her drab reality further draw the reader into Katelyn’s head.
I began crying before the story even began and continued right through to the end. I found it difficult to separate the reactions that grew from my own experiences resonating with the story and what grew solely from the writing itself. I did notice a few typos that pulled me out of the story line briefing, but otherwise I became immersed in the story.
Emily began writing this novel at the age of fourteen as part of the process of coping with her own brother’s struggle with cancer. I found myself surprised by the mature tone throughout; if I had not known the author’s age prior to reading the book, I would never have guessed. I recommend this book for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to actually live in their imagination, for those who have watched a loved one die, and those who admire the dedication of a young woman willing to enter the publishing business.
Sara Drake has been an avid reader since a young age. She has both a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and a Master’s in History.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by JKS Communications. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.