What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Excellent snapshot of bipolar disorder in different aspects. Olivia is telling he story and moves from one time period to another. It begins with Olivia driving to the east coast and stops in her old home town. She is recently divorced with two children in tow. Her adolescent daughter is the one who is often pushed aside. Her younger son has recently been diagnosed with early onset bipolar. They stop at the beach and Daniel disappears.
The book leap frogs between today and Olivia's 15th summer. She knows nothing about bipolar but she knows her mother has a different reality than those around her. This is the pivotal year for Olivia as she begins manifesting bipolar tendencies. It is also the summer that reality shifts and her world changes. She tells the POV of a daughter with a bipolar mother, a mother trying to manage her bipolar within the confines of marriage and parenthood, a parent of a bipolar son, and even the POV of the forgotten child.
Very well written and provides an excellent stage to allow bipolar disorder and personality to be played out.