In her haunting book The Perfect Other: A Memoir of My Sister (Harper, 2022), Boston College graduate Kyleigh Leddy recounts the fear, anguish, and heartbreak of losing a sister to mental illness. The book tells the story of the close bond between Leddy and her beloved older sister, Kait, and recounts how Kait’s adolescence was marked with a personality change, erratic and violent behavior, and ultimately a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Then, in 2014, 22-year-old Kait disappeared. Though her body was never found, security footage showed her walking to the peak of Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Bridge, where it is presumed that she jumped. Leddy’s book got its start as a piece she wrote during her senior year at BC that won the New York Times’ “Modern Love” college essay contest. In The Perfect Other, Leddy, who holds a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University, hopes to reduce the stigma around mental health and help other families who—like hers—felt “voiceless and afraid.” Read more, including an excerpt from The Perfect Other, in Boston College Magazine. An interview with Leddy was published in People magazine.
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