What’s it all about? And why would anyone want to read it? Well, let me try to explain without losing your interest too quickly. Basically, it’s all about me. Shameless self-promotion: of my writing, of my novels:
Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? and Reis's Pieces, of my amazing ability to come up with clever captions on photos of my travels . . . And also, a blatant representation of my stupidity when it comes to spelling, editing, and computer-type stuff.


My debut novel:
Where are the Cocoa Puffs?: A Family's Journey Through Bipolar Disorder was released in September of 2010. My second novel: Reis's Pieces: Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia, was released May, 2012!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

bp Magazine Review

Where are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey Through Bipolar Disorder


By Karen Winters Schwartz (Goodman Beck Publishing, 2010)

Reviewed by Kelsey Osgood

It’s a parent’s nightmare: a teenage daughter, once a well-adjusted, academic achiever, suddenly begins to fray at the edges. Despite everyone’s best efforts, she tumbles down the wormhole into bipolar disorder, bringing her parents and the rest of the family along for the ride.

Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey Through Bipolar Disorder, the debut novel of Karen Winters Schwartz, tracks the Benson family as their eldest child, 18- year-old Amanda, is diagnosed and struggles with euphoric hallucinations, crippling depressions, suicidal thoughts, a nostalgia for mania, and eventually, a hospitalization. The story is in some ways unbelievably tidy, the most obvious example being Ryan, the instantly devoted, endlessly patient boyfriend. But what Schwartz does so well is give each character ample space and time to express how the illness has affected him or her. The most interesting dilemma is that of Jerry Benson, Amanda’s father, also a psychiatrist. Throughout the story, he wrestles with his psychiatric rationale and his emotional paternal instincts. His decisions are often questionable, but this is a forgiving book and a gentle writer, one who makes sure each character is seen as both flawed and beautiful, or in a word: human.

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