The Little Girl
Author: Thatcher C. Nalley
Published: February 3, 2014
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
“Why does God make bad people?”
Little Molly had asked this often. Therapist Lindy Wellbrook never answered. Yet if the counselor would have just answered, even in just the simplest of terms, could it have prevented the little girl from suddenly jumping to her death? Lindy could deliberate this over and over, but as she was about to find there was would be no easy answer.
The little girl Molly sees her world as being the princess in The Land of Pretty, that she has the power to communicate with dolls, and that her friend Pen protects her though no one can see him.
Lindy sees Molly’s world as delusions created from a traumatic childhood.
Only one of them is right.
Lindy Wellbrook is a new therapist hungry for the challenge to get clients through a speedy recovery. She has no time for those who sit in self-pity. Her approach is to get clients up and on with their lives in the quickest time possible. No matter how deep the wound.
Then Molly walked in. Eager to prove that her theories of recovery are accurate, even with traumatic cases, Lindy takes on the troubled 8 year old Molly. Having no idea what she is about to take on. In the easy first steps Lindy quickly first finds herself in the bizarre imaginary world called “Pretty” and that Molly is convinced she can talk to dolls. But when Molly’s volatile split personality Pen surfaces, the therapy turns fierce for he will stop at nothing to sabotage the little girl’s recovery. However, Lindy will stop at nothing to get Molly through a fast track of recovery, not even Pen.
Things take a drastic change when Molly suddenly jumps to her death and Lindy is left baffled in wondering where the sessions had gone tragically wrong. In an obsession to find out the therapist relives the past therapy sessions through recorded tapes. This time when Lindy listens her outlook on Molly’s horrific childhood takes a whole different direction. Each tape brings a new twist and turns everything Lindy thought she knew about Molly, Pen, The Land of Pretty, and even herself upside down. The closer Lindy gets to the truth the more she realizes that maybe some things are best left unanswered.
Especially the question – “Why does God make bad people?”
This one shocked me. I read Letters from the Looney Bin and adored it. I wasn’t expecting this one to be almost as good. I like the medium of letters and recordings and Nalley knows how to do them well. I was half expecting something paranormal in this book, but it’s definitely more Criminal Minds than Paranormal Activity. I liked seeing into the process of psychology and therapy and the inner workings of the therapist’s mind. The twist was rather unexpected and I never stopped wanting to turn the page. I wasn’t a huge fan of all the relationship drama that was woven in, but that was really my only problem. The story was complete and the characters were intriguing! I am definitely going to keep reading Nalley!
Darius the Great is Not Okay
Series: Darius the Great #1
Author: Adib Khorram
Published: August 28, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran.
Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming—especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.
Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.
Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.
This is a great story! To me, it’s the perfect coming of age story. There may be some teenage angst, but it doesn’t feel whiny. I’m no teenager anymore but I definitely related to Darius. Obviously, because we’re two different genders, there are some things that I’ll never really get. I mean, I never had to worry about circumcision the way the boys do. But the rest of it, not fitting in, loving things that aren’t cool, feeling like no one cares; I’ve been there! And bring in Star Trek and LOTR, I think Darius could be a kindred spirit. I also found his fascination with tea to be inspiring. I may not really like tea, but I can appreciate the little nuances. I think the relationship between Darius and Sohrab was really sweet. Khorram didn’t overdo it with the “everything has to be a woke lecture” thing and just let them be friends in a healthy and realistic way. By the time I got to the end, I was misty! Ok fine I was almost ugly crying but thankfully I didn’t full on ugly cry! I think this would be a really good one for those young nerds who haven’t figured out that fitting in isn’t all it’s cracked up to be yet. I definitely recommend it!
Today Kim is bringing you a video review of the coffee table book Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals with photography by Christopher J.Payne and an essay by Oliver Sacks.
Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals
Photographer: Christopher J. Payne
Published: September 4, 2009
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
For more than half the nation’s history, vast mental hospitals were a prominent feature of the American landscape. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, over 250 institutions for the insane were built throughout the United States; by 1948, they housed more than a half million patients.
The blueprint for these hospitals was set by Pennsylvania hospital superintendent Thomas Story Kirkbride: a central administration building flanked symmetrically by pavilions and surrounded by lavish grounds with pastoral vistas.
Kirkbride and others believed that well-designed buildings and grounds, a peaceful environment, a regimen of fresh air, and places for work, exercise, and cultural activities would heal mental illness. But in the second half of the twentieth century, after the introduction of psychotropic drugs and policy shifts toward community-based care, patient populations declined dramatically, leaving many of these beautiful, massive buildings–and the patients who lived in them–neglected and abandoned.
Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals like these, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states. Through his lens we see splendid, palatial exteriors (some designed by such prominent architects as H. H. Richardson and Samuel Sloan) and crumbling interiors–chairs stacked against walls with peeling paint in a grand hallway; brightly colored toothbrushes still hanging on a rack; stacks of suitcases, never packed for the trip home.
Accompanying Payne’s striking and powerful photographs is an essay by Oliver Sacks (who described his own experience working at a state mental hospital in his book Awakenings). Sacks pays tribute to Payne’s photographs and to the lives once lived in these places, “where one could be both mad and safe.”
Kim’s Video Review: