Picks and Pans Review: Hurry Down Sunshine

updated 09/08/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/08/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Michael Greenberg

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Sally Greenberg is just 15 during the summer of '96 when, in the words of her father, Michael, she's "struck mad." She flies into traffic, "rushing oncoming cars"; in a psychiatric ward, she becomes a "feral, glitter-eyed" creature. This memoir of a family crisis captures the grief that transformed their lives that scorching summer, though it falls short in creating a vibrant portrait of Sally before her break. Still, readers come away with a sense of the intractable nature of psychosis and the courage it requires for patients like Sally, whose struggles continue, merely to live.

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