Everything Is Fine

Everything Is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis

Everything is fine … everything is fine … everything is …

Maybe if Mazzy keeps saying it, it will eventually come true. Then everything in her life really would be fine. But Mazzy’s life is not fine, and it hasn’t been since the accident. The accident that no one talks about, the accident that everyone blames themselves for, the accident that left a trail of devastation in its wake.

Since the accident Mazzy’s sports anchor father left. He said he had to leave for a business trip and would be back in a week. One week turned into two weeks, two weeks turned into three, and before Mazzy realized it months have passed. That’s okay though, Mazzy really doesn’t need her father, it’s her mother that she needs the most.Mazzy seems to be the only functioning person this family has left, but she’s just barely functioning. In many ways Mazzy is just as (mentally) ill as her mother is, it’s just that she handles it in a very different way.

Mazzy’s mother never really recovered from the accident. Instead, this once vibrant artist mother, has sunk deeper and deeper into a downward spiraling depression and is now in a catatonic state, where she lets no one in and not a word out. Keeping everything in and everyone who worries out allows Mazzy to live in the dream world she has created since the accident. It’s a world where her mother will get up, eventually when she’s ready. But she’s just so tired. It’s a world where she doesn’t need her father, in fact she thinks her and her mother are better off without him. It’s a world where she’s making Peking duck when in reality she is microwaving some marshmallows.

But when Mrs. Peet a government worker with really big boobs shows up knocking on the door Mazzy knows the bubble she and her mother live in is about to be popped. But maybe, just maybe, if she let’s her in everything really will be fine.

Ann Dee Ellis* has written a thought-provoking novel that allows readers to see what mental illness really is and its effects on reality. As harsh as this novel could have been Ellis does a great job at handling the subject matter with dignity and with sensitivity. Authentic and believable, Everything Is Fine, will leave readers sympathizing with Mazzy and the situation she has been placed into.

Told from Mazzy’s perspective, Everything Is Fine is written in short, conversational prose that allows readers to witness firsthand the way Mazzy thinks, sees, and feels. Full with vivid descriptions readers will have the chance to experience the same things Mazzy experiences on a daily basis: picking weeds with her fat neighbor Norma, feeling her heart race as Colby’s thigh presses against hers, the sense of fear that immediately sets in when Mrs. Peet knocks on the door, etc.

Ellis even manages to work in a bit of suspense into Everything Is Fine. From the get-go readers will be aware that some terrible accident has taken place, but she doesn’t given in until just the right moment. This element is what really makes the book so attention grabbing. Readers will truly appreciate how quickly the story seems to unfold.

*Head over the Ann Dee Ellis’s website to take a peek inside Mazzy’s sketchbook.

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