Wesley Peary is a normal high-schooler, with the normal high school issues: school, part-time job,
friends, girlfriends, one teacher with an irrational hatred for him.
And one day, at his birthday pool party, he suffers from diarrhoea, and suddenly, he's thrown into a world that is definitely not normal for a teenager.
Suddenly, in addition to the normal teenager things, he has to face chronic illness, doctors (good, bad, and downright abusive), a girl with Munchausen's, changing diagnoses, fatigue, life and death.
Duncan Cross draws on his own experience of life with chronic illness in this semi-biographical work of fiction (or is it a semi-fictional autobiography?) He opens up the world of Wesley Peary, a normal teenager, thrust into an abnormal world.
Through Wesley's story, Duncan Cross highlights major issues facing people with chronic illness: the varying competencies of doctors, the desire to do "normal" things, the cost of medical treatment and the situation of people who can't pay, the choice to end a life prematurely.
It's a highly believable, highly readable story, with some pain, some humour, and a lot of poo.
People with chronic illnesses will recognise parts of ourselves in Wesley. People who don't have chronic illnesses may get a window to our world through him.
I loved this book. I had trouble putting it down - in the end I read it in two sessions. It would have been one, but I needed to sleep. I saw a lot of myself in Wesley, someone just trying to live their life, and being constantly interrupted by a body that just won't do what it's supposed to do.
For more about Duncan Cross, visit his blog: Duncan Cross.
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