Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mental Health Awareness Review: The Medea Complex

The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from author; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: 1885. Anne Stanbury. Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems? 

Edgar Stanbury. The grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life.

Dr George Savage. The well-respected psychiatrist and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne’s future wholly in his hands.

Review: For one thing, this book has a cover that you just can't say no too, and with the summary, I was definitely curious to see where the story of Anne led me. I will say that the beginning of the book goes a bit slow. Anne is locked in Bethlem Royal Hospital, an asylum for the mentally ill, but she doesn't seem to have any recent memories. Therefore, she is wholly confused as to why she is in the Hospital (actually believing herself to be kidnapped) in the first place.

The doctor, George Savage, is an interesting character. I found him to be a mix of good and bad. He genuinely seems to care about his patients, but there are aspects of his personality that I did not like, especially his thoughts concerning women and reading (he believes they should not). Of course, this is 1885, so it's not meant to include modern thoughts and beliefs about women and even insanity.

The book changes point of view between Anne, Edgar, and George (for the most part) giving a wide perspective of this world and the tragedy that has led to Anne's asylum stay. Edgar loves his wife, but hates what she did. He wants revenge, and something more...

Roberts leads us through an interesting look at history, using real people as inspiration (the end of the book gives more information on this) and it was definitely a story I was glad to have read. Once the mystery of the book picks up steam, things seem to move faster. Some mysteries are revealed, which leads to even more suspense. This is definitely one of those books that keeps you wondering and it plays a lot on the idea of morality and right and wrong.

I'm linking this one up for the Mental Health Awareness Month at Uncorked Thoughts and Blog of Erised.


Cleo Bannister said...

I've read this one and I totally agree with your comments. I found the descriptions of the asylum fascinating, this was written at a time when great changes were being made in the treatment of mental heath which Roberts accurately portrayed. Like you I was glad to have read this one.

Melliane said...

Oh I love a story during this period and like you're saying it, the cover is just AMAZING! I love love it and I want to try it only for that.

Kindlemom said...

I love these type of books and I think I would really love this one as well. So much happened in the development of care during this time in asylums that it really is fascinating and horrifying.

Zoe N. said...

I agree...YEAH for that cover and I'm so glad that what's inside is just as good. :) I'm really liking the sound of the characters and their development; and a book that makes you really think about mortality is always great. Definitely going to consider giving this a try!

~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

Haley @ YA-Aholic said...

Ohh this sounds good!! Awesome review hun, adding this to my tbr (: