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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
All But One is a work of fiction written in the drama genre with many tragic elements and hardships. It is aimed at a primarily adult audience and was penned by author Julie Oleszek. The work continues The Fifth Floor trilogy as the third and final novel, which has been a tale of strife and complications for protagonist Anna. After the tragic loss of her sister Liz, Anna’s heartache grows and she finds herself checked into a psychiatric ward on the fifth floor. Years later, former patients come together again in this final volume, and Anna has to navigate her future and make important decisions with the help of those she once knew.
Author Julie Oleszek tells a tale of deep personal tragedy with many uplifting and harrowing peaks and troughs in her plot. Anna is a highly relatable character to whom the narration allows us to be close and, through her eyes, we see the difficulties of a young woman whose life has been interrupted by grief and ensuing mental illness. As the other former members of the Advocate Hospital come into play, the lens widens on the various issues that people can face, and what kind of life awaits them once they get out of their program of treatment. What results is a deeply emotive and heartfelt narrative about human connection and the challenges of life. Overall, I’d highly recommend All But One to readers who enjoy challenging personal dramas and realistic narratives that show semblances of hope amongst the darkest of times.