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If Will Fletcher’s severe bipolar disorder isn’t proof he shouldn’t be a parent, his infant daughter’s grave is. Once a happily married, successful veterinarian, he now lives with his sister and thrives as the small-town crazy of Half Moon Hollow. But when a fifteen-year-old orphan claims she’s his daughter, Will is forced back into the role he fears most: fatherhood.

Her biological dad isn’t the hero Regan Whitmer hoped for, but he’s better than her abusive stepfather back in Chicago. Still haunted by her mother’s suicide and the rebellious past she fears led to it, Regan is desperate for a stable home and a normal family―things Will can’t offer. Can she ride the highs and lows of his illness to find a new definition of family?

The Rules of Half explores what it is to be an atypical family in a small town and mentally ill in the wake of a tragedy―and who has the right to determine both.


“This breathtaking tale of a small town family is one of the most unique literary explorations of mental disorder in modern fiction.” ― Bookstr

The Rules of Half is easily the most captivating and emotionally harrowing family drama of summer, and it’ll keep you guessing until the captivating conclusion.”
Redbook, “10 Books You Have to Read This Summer”

“In her debut novel, Patrick writes with sensitivity about the trials of mental illness for both sufferers and caregivers….[A] novel that’s strengthened by its attention to how people forgive and connect.”
― Kirkus Reviews

“In this enchanting debut, Patrick flawlessly provides readers with a new and unique look at mental illness set against the backdrop of a small town.” Buzzfeed

“A moving tale of the obstacles modern families must overcome in order for love to triumph, The Rules of Half is one of summer’s most poignant and brave releases.” ―SheKnows

“This emotionally gripping family drama will resonate with every parent.” ―Working Mother

“For those who crave the deepest of feels, this is your perfect entertainment pairing. These two heartbreaking but hopeful tales combine dysfunctional families, human connections, and unthinkable tragedy in the best way possible. There isn’t a chance these dazzling dramas (set in completely different eras) won’t move you to the core.”

“The perfect trifecta of a dysfunctional family, mental illness, and inescapable small town dynamics, The Rules of Half will steal your attention mercilessly from the first page to the last.”Redbook, 20 Summer Beach Reads to Stock Up on

“Both hopeful and heartbreaking, The Rules of Half explores how one man’s mental illness can impact an entire town, and how the bonds of family, however strained, can pull you through even the darkest of times.”
―Kristin Contino, author of The Legacy of Us

“In her debut novel The Rules of Half, Patrick flawlessly delivers both a deeply thoughtful depiction of mental illness, and a heartwarming, and dare I say humorous, story about the scars people carry, the healing power of human connections, and the wondrous child that lives in us all. Rules will have you feverously turning pages, and in the end, wanting to know what Jenna Patrick has planned for us next.”
―Brady Stefani, award-winning author of The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman

“A story rich in complex characters, Jenna Patrick’s debut novel The Rules of Half is a darkly compelling and ultimately redemptive tale of loss and regret, and the often-painful truths we must confront in order to heal.”
―Barbara Taylor Sissel, author of Faultlines