*Not a book review
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Indeed, Jim isn’t even sure that Gladys truly exists—that she isn’t just a rooftop patio umbrella silhouetted against the moon. Hampered by debilitating social anxiety, he cannot work up the courage to even wave.
Yet Jim returns to the same spot night after night, and Gladys—who is indeed real—sees him and becomes equally interested. She even contributes to their “conversation,” though he cannot hear her either. And while Gladys struggles with her own demons—self-loathing and depression—she is lifted by Jim’s attention, even as she describes how difficult her life has been.
Two characters, driven by sadness and a longing to connect. Will they?
Read an Excerpt
Sometimes I’m able to ponder these imponderables in a positive way, awed by the mysterious incomprehensibility of it all. At those times I think about astronomers with envy—about how they explore the magnificence of the universe, the origins of life, and other heady stuff. But today I was just hit with a profound feeling of pointlessness. You are born, you live, and you die. And who gives a damn? The vastness of the thing is enough to make you feel insignificant. Yet my funk reminded me of a joke I heard from one of the guys at work. A rabbi was standing in front of the “Ark,” I think he called it—the box containing the Torah. Overwhelmed with piety, he fell to his knees and beat his chest, shouting, “I’m nothing, I’m nothing!” The cantor, seeing this, also dropped to his knees, and likewise shouted, “I’m nothing, I’m nothing!”
About the Author:
His academic positions include, Professor of Psychology at the University of Ottawa from 1972 to 1997, Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School from 1991 to 1998, Associate Attending Psychologist at McLean Hospital (Boston), Head of the Clinical Psychophysiology Service McLean Hospital (Boston). Professor Swingle was also Clinical Supervisor at the University of Ottawa from 1987 to 1997 and Chairman of the Faculty of Child Psychology from 1972 to 1977. Dr. Swingle is a Registered Psychologist in British Columbia and is Board Certified in Biofeedback and Neurotherapy. He is actively involved in research and practice. His numerous publications include nine books and numerous peer reviewed journal publications.
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