One Tick Stopped the Clock

A new memoir forthcoming by Jennifer Crystal: Interested in representing this work? Contact Jennifer at jennifercrystalwriter@gmail.com.

Watch Jennifer discuss the book with health blogger Dave Mayo on this podcast!

Imagine, at age twenty-five, being sidelined by a sickness so severe that you have to give up your life teaching and skiing to move back to your childhood bed while your friends’ lives moved steadily forward. Imagine losing your independence, battling family tension and wrath you thought you’d already escaped, while also fighting for diagnosis and validation. Imagine falling from the pinnacle of post-college momentum to the precipice of despair, your life-line coming from the most unlikely of sources: your first love—murdered just as his own career was getting started—returning to you in a dream that changes the course of your convalescence, and your life.

Now imagine that entire journey being set off by an insect smaller than a poppy seed.

Touching on universal themes of resilience and survival, One Tick Stopped the Clock showcases the particular difficulties that a young person faces when the momentum of her life is suddenly halted, including the identity loss that occurs when she isn’t able to fulfill expectations set by herself, her family, and society. Tensions arise in personal and familial relationships as she fights to get back on track and find meaning in a life newly shaped by chronic illness. Blending medical mystery with wit, sensitivity, and a sharp understanding of the human experience, One Tick Stopped the Clock explores the big questions of identity, purpose, and the search for home. It offers hope for anyone who can’t go back, but instead must move forward at a new pace.