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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Other Side of the Ledge by Janelle Parmer is a slice-of-life drama novel about a recently widowed woman trying to navigate her grief over her deceased husband. Thirty-seven-year-old Kara McKay's life turns upside down the day her husband and love of her life, Chris -- an English professor at the local university in California -- shockingly commits suicide by jumping off a building. Despite a constant stream of support from her friends and family, especially her sister, Beth, and Kara's best friend, Dawn, Kara struggles to get through her days, finding little motivation to get out of bed. It isn't until she joins a support group called COPE, where she meets people like her who also similarly lost their loved ones, that she finds the courage to let go and move on.
The Other Side of the Ledge is a touching story that deals with some serious issues such as mental health, alcoholism, self-harm, and grief. Author Janelle Parmer's tale of a young widow finding meaning and comfort amongst a helpful and supportive circle of close friends and family, though heartbreaking, is surprisingly poignant and charming. Despite the heavy themes infused into the narrative, Parmer's scrumptious prose, alongside the wit and humor sprinkled throughout the pages, makes the book a breeze to go through. The characters feel grounded and well-developed. Their compelling backstories and personalities add a sense of authenticity to the story that makes it all the more immersive. I recommend The Other Side of the Ledge to anyone who enjoys realistic slice-of-life stories.