Unplugged, by Paul McComas
Many who recover from clinical depression compare regaining their mental health to a religious epiphany, albeit a slow-developing one. To experience joy and to be able to imagine a hopeful future after months or years of psychiatric illness is like having scales fall from one's eyes. These emotions are the theme of Paul McComas's first novel. The book chronicles the struggles of a young rock star, Dana Clay, to recover from a major depressive episode after a suicide attempt.
Clay's depression leads her to abandon her life as a successful musician with a hit album. She flees her Chicago home and arrives, by chance, in the isolated Badlands, where the beauty and severity of the natural environment provide her with her first taste of joy and peace in a long time. The land becomes her sanctuary as she learns to understand and confront her illness, as well as the abusive childhood and failed relationships that contribute to it.
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