I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Young adult reading about a mentally ill 16-year-old girl who endures 3 years in a mental hospital. The story is told mostly from Deborah Blau's, the 16-year-old girl, point of view.
Deborah's mental illness established early in her life due to pent up rage, frustration, and the pain of not being accepted in life, among other things. Because of this rejection by the world, she created in her mind Yr, a fantasy land where she could escape the harsh realities of life, but Yr slowly turned into a place none-too-nice that held her captive in her mind.
I loved this book for the simple fact that we're allowed to see things from Deborah's point of view. Few books do that. Usually, we're presented with a view from someone who's sane, thus sealing the prejudices and pity associated with the mentally ill. People tend to forget that the patients are still human, preferring to ostracize them because of their state-of-mind. This story presents the patients as people, and they are surprisingly astute and introspective despite their illness, and they are aware of what people who don't have an illness thinks of them.
Deborah's story is a fascinating one. She works with a gifted psychiatrist to overcome Yr and its gods, which hurts her when she tries to tell the secrets of their world. We follow her sickness, her stages of recovery, and her eventual reintroduction to the world. It was nice to read a book that wasn't a horror that presented a view of mental illness. My lack to rate it higher comes from the fact that parts of the book were lacking in my opinion, but that doesn't void out the fact that book was a good read.
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