Taking three stories and entwining them can be a challenge not just for an author but also for a reader. While at times I needed to slow my read, mostly I was able to keep track of everyone. And there is a lot going on to keep track of.
As an asylum is on the cusp of closure, residents, staff and the community are each trying to deal with the repercussions. This book also deals with a jumble of assorted mental health issues from the client, society and provider viewpoints. Frankly how this author kept everything straight was a pleasant surprise.
I thoroughly enjoyed trying to figure out Matilda’s world and how it related to the other stories. Matilda’s (or Tilly) is living in the real world as well as various versions she keeps alive in her mind, either factual or not.
You can read it for the surface subjects that are very apparent or you can dig a little deeper into what makes each of these characters not only live but keep them moving and changing.
The only downside is there is quite a bit left hanging at the end of the book. I were have preferred to have at least something with closure for my own satisfaction.
For more about this author and all their books, CLICK HERE.
This book will have you breaking your heart one minute and laughing out loud the next.
In the dying days of the old asylums, three paths intersect.
Henry was only a boy when he waved goodbye to his glamorous grown-up sister; approaching sixty, his life is still on hold as he awaits her return.
As a high-society hostess renowned for her recitals, Matty’s burden weighs heavily upon her, but she bears it with fortitude and grace.
Janice, a young social worker, wants to set the world to rights, but she needs to tackle challenges closer to home. A brother and sister separated by decades of deceit. Will truth prevail over bigotry, or will the buried secret keep family apart?
Told with compassion and humour, Anne Goodwin’s third novel is a poignant, compelling and brilliantly authentic portrayal of asylum life, with a quirky protagonist you won’t easily forget.
The Secret Scripture crossed with Elizabeth Is Missing and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Chosen by Isabel Costello as a Literary Sofa Summer Read: “The light wins in this novel, which manages to be warm, uplifting and surprisingly funny for all the sadness and injustice portrayed.”
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