The Lightness of Hands
A quirky and heartfelt coming-of-age story about a teen girl with bipolar II who signs her failed magician father up to perform his legendary but failed illusion on live TV in order to make enough money to pay for the medications they need--from the author of Symptoms of Being Human. Perfect for fans of Adi Alsaid, David Arnold, and Arvin Ahmadi.
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Dante is desperate for something in her life to finally go right. Her father was a famous stage magician until he attempted an epic illusion on live TV--and failed. Now Ellie lives with her dad in a beat-up RV, attending high school online and performing with him at birthday parties and bars across the Midwest to make ends meet.
But when the gigs dry up, their insurance lapses, leaving Dad's heart condition unchecked and forcing Ellie to battle her bipolar II disorder without medication.
Then Ellie receives a call from a famous magic duo, who offer fifteen thousand dollars and a shot at redemption: they want her father to perform the illusion that wrecked his career--on their live TV special, which shoots in Los Angeles in ten days.
Ellie knows her dad will refuse--but she takes the deal anyway, then lies to persuade him to head west. With the help of her online-only best friend and an unusual guy she teams up with along the way, Ellie makes a plan to stage his comeback. But when her lie is exposed, she'll have to confront her illness and her choices head-on to save her father--and herself.
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About the Author
Jeff Garvin grew up in Orange County, California, the son of a banker and a magician. He started acting in high school, and enjoyed a fifteen-year career including guest-starring roles in network television series ranging from The Wonder Years to Roseanne to Caroline and the City, as well as several independent features. While studying at Chapman University, Jeff won awards for classical guitar and visual storytelling before graduating with a BFA in film. As the front man of his rock band, 7k, Garvin released three albums and toured the United States. When the band dissolved in 2011, Jeff, who had always written short stories and lyrics, found his passion in full-length fiction. Jeff lives in Southern California with his music teacher wife, their menagerie, and a respectable collection of books and guitars.
"Garvin's portrayal of Ellie's bipolar experience is exceptional; the world of magic is also superbly rendered."--Kirkus Reviews
"Garvin uses his knowledge of magic and personal experience with bipolarism to add insight to this dramatic story as he skillfully evokes the traveling performers' gritty lifestyle and the enticement of illusion."--Publishers Weekly
"An #OwnVoices story about identity in the face of a mental illness, honesty to self and others, and delayed grief, that takes readers on both a literal and internal journey."--ALA Booklist