As someone whose desk is perhaps a bit too tidy, I was intrigued by the description of Toni Jordan’s debut novel, Addition (2008). It stars Grace Lisa Vandenburg as a thirty-five-year-old former teacher with obsessive-compulsive disorder. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she organizes and counts EVERYTHING, from one end of the day to the other.
Most people don’t seem to understand the importance of numbers and counting to the human race. It is, after all, what separates us from other animals. Our complex world would be very different without our ability to quantify our lives.
Lisa’s life is over-quantified, to the point where she can’t function in some areas. Personal relationships are nearly impossible. She has stopped driving because the speedometer distracts her from everything else. Lisa survives on disability checks, until one day she meets Seamus when she steals a banana from his cart at the grocery store, in order to have an even ten in her own cart.
Seamus and Lisa hit it off, and he convinces her to get treatment in order to enjoy a richer, fuller life. But the meds she takes shut down what makes life worth living, and the couple is faced with how to balance disability with quality of life. A romantic comedy with a twist, this one is unique. I look forward to enjoying it.