Melanie Hansen’s Unquiet follows the tumultuous relationship between Loren and Eliot, who have known each other almost their entire lives. When they first met as children, Loren knew that Eliot was a bit different, but he didn’t quite understand why or how. After a heartbreaking falling out distanced them, they meet again as adults, and Loren is alarmed to see just how much has changed between them. Loren has a successful career, but Eliot is still struggling with his inner demons. Rekindling their relationship isn’t easy, between Eliot’s mental illness and their difficult past, but they both know that no matter what, they were always meant to be together.
Unquiet is not an easy book to read. It is gut-wrenching and full of emotional turmoil, written in such a way that you can really feel the anguish felt by the characters. It’s possibly one of the best, most frighteningly realistic portrayals of mental illness (and the struggles endured by the loved ones of someone with a mental illness) to ever be recorded in the pages of a book. It’s difficult to get through, but only because it is so very real.
Despite its emotional weight, Unquiet was truly a phenomenal book. There is a well-crafted balance of passionate romance, fascinating insight into mental illness and all that comes with it, and the pure human connection between the two main characters. Melanie Hansen writes so honestly, deeply, and thoughtfully that her characters seem all the more believable. Unquiet is just as captivating as it is heart-wrenching; it’s worth investing in the emotional roller coaster that this novel has to offer, because a book as deeply gripping and rewarding as Unquiet is a certain treasure.
Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.