There are three creatures in this world that I wonder why God created them: ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. Before you start telling me all of the reasons why these parasites are useful, let me have my moment. Out of those three, ticks freak me out the most. They latch onto your skin, they’re tiny, and they carry so many diseases.
One of those diseases, Lyme, is the focus of Brandilyn Collins’s book Over the Edge. Released in 2006, this book tells the story of a real battle through the eyes of fictional character. Janessa McNeil is the wife of a famous doctor whose main platform exists on the premise that Lyme is not a serious disease and can be cured by a short round of antibiotics. Janessa is infected with Lyme by a psychopath out to prove to the world that Lyme is a long-suffering disease. Not even his own wife’s suffering health can convince him that Lyme might be more serious than his committee claims.
Collins writes with such descriptive prose that the book kept me riveted to the page even long after I should have been asleep. I wanted to know who the mysterious man was and why he thought infecting another human with Lyme would prove to the doctors that Lyme was serious. Be prepared at the end for a major, but believable, plot twist.
Prior to reading this book, my connection to Lyme was only based on stories of people who have had it. I didn’t know the extent to which this disease can affect a body or the trouble doctors can have diagnosing it. I trust the facts in this book based on the author’s extensive notes at the end and the fact that the author herself suffered from Lyme.
This book also carries a hint of the Christian faith. The Dr. McNeil doesn’t believe, but Janessa and her daughter are believers in Christ, albeit a very weak belief. The disease pushes Janessa to read the Psalms for comfort and sympathy. The verses she reads are what pushes her to keep fighting. While the storyline doesn’t punch you in the face with the Christian faith, there are glimmers of faith.
This book will remain on my shelf simply because it’s a well-written fast-paced easy read. I won’t return to it anytime soon, but someday once I’ve forgotten the plot, I’ll come back and enjoy it again.