Waiting for Fitzby: Spencer Hyde
Addie loves nothing more than curling up on the couch with her dog, Duck, and watching The Great British Baking Show with her mom. It’s one of the few things that can help her relax when her OCD kicks into overdrive. She counts everything. All the time. She can’t stop. Rituals and rhythms. It’s exhausting.
When Fitz was diagnosed with schizophrenia, he named the voices in his head after famous country singers. The adolescent psychiatric ward at Seattle Regional Hospital isn’t exactly the ideal place to meet your soul mate, but when Addie meets Fitz, they immediately connect over their shared love of words, appreciate each other’s quick wit, and wish they could both make more sense of their lives.
Fitz is haunted by the voices in his head and often doesn’t know what is real. But he feels if he can convince Addie to help him escape the psych ward and get to San Juan Island, everything will be okay. If not, he risks falling into a downward spiral that may keep him in the hospital indefinitely.
Waiting for Fitz is a story about life and love, forgiveness and courage, and what’s necessary to let go and learning what is truly worth waiting for.
- Fitz is secretly dealing with the possibility that he caused his younger brother’s death. He’s not sure if it was an accident or if he was prompted by one of the voices in his head, but he is determined to apologize and say goodbye to his brother. But that will require Fitz to return to the place where his brother died, and he knows he’ll need the help of his fellow in-patients-including Addie-to help him escape the adolescent psychiatric ward.
- The novel’s title is based on Waiting for Godot, a play Addie is reading for AP English. The play is about two characters who endlessly wait for a third character to show up. With nothing else to do, they talk and argue and banter. They ask and answer questions, trying to create some kind of connection and “to give themselves the impression we exist.” In Waiting for Fitz, Fitz and Addie have multiple discussions about waiting for life to start versus taking action to make something happen. Addie says, “Life is just a series of absurd rituals until something or someone comes along to give it all meaning.”
- Features a larger cast of other teens with a spectrum of mental illness: Didi, whose psychiatric issues manifest as a unique form of Tourette’s Syndrome; Junior, who deals with uncontrollable anger; Leah, who has debilitating depression; and Wolf, whose delusion of finding an imaginary horse is the center of his life.
- As a teenager author Spencer Hyde spent three years in treatment at Johns Hopkins for severe OCD. That experience adds authenticity and realism to the novel because the author experienced many of Addy’s same obsessions.
- Twenty percent of teens in the US struggle with a mental illness and seventy percent of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. Two million teens report severe depression that impedes daily functioning according to the Dept of Health and Human Services.
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Publish Date: 2019
Page Count: 240