The Perfect Other

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The Perfect Other book cover

by Kyleigh Leddy

Publication date: March 15, 2022
Publisher: Harper
Hardcover: 304 Pages

Publisher Description

All Kait Leddy had ever wanted was a little sister. When Kyleigh was born, they were inseparable; Kait would protect her, include her, cuddle and comfort her, and, to Kyleigh, her big sister was her whole world.

As they grew, however, and as Kait entered adolescence, her personality began to change. She was lashing out emotionally and physically, and losing touch with reality in certain ways. The family struggled to keep this side of Kait private—at school and in her social life, she was still the gorgeous, effervescent life of the party with a modeling career ahead of her and big dreams. But slowly, things began to shatter, and Kyleigh could only watch in horror as her perfect sibling’s world collapsed around her. Kait was institutionalized with what would eventually be diagnosed as schizophrenia, leaving Kyleigh and their mother to handle the burden, shame, and guilt alone.

Then, in January 2014, Kait disappeared. Though they never found her body, security footage showed her making her way onto a big bridge over a river, where it is presumed that she jumped. Kyleigh is left wondering: What could she have done differently? How could this shining light be gone? And how will she find peace without her sister to guide her way there?

About the author

Kyleigh Leddy is a graduate of Boston College and is currently pursuing an MSW at Columbia University in advanced clinical practice and public policy. In 2019, she won the New York Times Modern Love college essay contest for an essay about grieving her sister, Kait. Her work has appeared in the New York Times and Parents, as well as other publications. She is based in New York City, and this is her first book.

Read more about Kyleigh ON HER WEBSITE

Praise

“Leddy seeks courageously to “break the stigma” and silence that still surround schizophrenia and similar disorders while paying tribute to the woman whose life so profoundly transformed her own. A moving and deeply felt memoir about family and mental illness.” Kirkus Reviews

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“Exceptionally thoughtful and insightful.” – Booklist Online

“Deep, everlasting love, grief and the mysteries of mental illness are undercurrents that propel The Perfect Other, a chilling, moving memoir by Kyleigh Leddy. Leddy’s raw search for understanding, meaning and peace grants readers a rare personal glimpse into the universal mysteries of mental illness and the long-lasting traumatic effects it has on those afflicted, as well as those in its orbit. A hauntingly reflective memoir details the intricacies of mental illness and the bonds of sisterly love and loyalty in this life–and beyond.” – Shelf Awareness

“Heartrending… Leddy offers a humanist portrait of the nuances of loving someone with mental illness… Gutting in its intensity… but well worth the effort.”  Publishers Weekly

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