Flora doesn’t do people”, not since the Incident that led to her leaving school midway through her GCSEs. The Incident that led to her being diagnosed with bipolar II. The Incident that left her in pieces. Until Hal arrives. He’s researching a story about a missing World War I soldier, and he wants Flora’s help. Flora used to love history before the Incident, but spending so much time with Hal is her worst nightmare. Yet as they begin to piece together the life of the missing soldier, a life of lost love, secrets and lies, Flora finds a piece of herself falling for Hal.
Disclaimer: I received a physical copy of the book from USBorne YA in exchange for an honest review! However, the thoughts, opinions expressed in the review are entirely my own.
Beautiful, gut wrenching and aptly representation of mental health in the best way possible in recent times – Pieces of Ourselves is emotional, full of growth and hope that, as a reader you think would know the way it would take, but even if you think you do, reading this beauty would leave you with a feeling of hope and optimism!
Flora, our protagonist, doesn’t do change or even people ever since the “incident” during her yearly exams – when her brain went into overdrive and she had a meltdown right in front of her classmates. Now, with her diagnosis of a Bipolar Disorder and a schedule that she adheres to while working at the only hotel in town – the Hopwood Hotel. She keeps her head down, living with her brother and his partner, because of her mom left – so keeps to herself, her brother & his partner and her best friend. No changes, nothing that will excite her, or bring on another episode.
So she is in a fix, when her boss asks her to help an important guest, Hal, with his research into the history of a WWII soldier who served in Vietnam – a soldier whose life he has heard about from his own grandfather, a man he is closer to than his own father.
Before Hal and his history project, Flora didn’t realise how absolutely lonely she was; and the toll the fear and anxiety of her diagnosis and mental illness had taken on her; not just her life in particular but also her own ambitions and interests.