Resurrection by Linda Swift
Publisher: Rebecca J. Vickery
Length: Short Story (120 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
Charlotte Timberlake wants to write a book about mental illness and persuades a doctor to have her admitted as a patient. When unforeseen events make it impossible for her to leave, she finds herself unable to convince those in charge, her children, or ex-husband that she doesn't belong here. Charlotte soon realizes it is up to her to find a means of escaping the nightmare of her prison.
A staid, middle-aged, divorced mother of two, Charlotte isn’t your typical action-adventure hero. She isn’t unusually strong, fast or limber and she doesn’t have any special abilities or access to top-secret government weapons.
Yet this is exactly why her adventure is such a thrill. How can an ordinary woman outwit a society that assumes everything she says is a symptom of schizophrenia?
I loved Charlotte’s character but had trouble understanding her friend’s motivation for taking such a huge professional and legal risk. As much as I enjoyed the story it really didn’t make sense for her friend to agree to this plan. There was also a certain lack of realism in how easy it was to have Charlotte committed. This being a short story though, I can see how the setup would be convenient for moving the story along to the more pressing plot.
Once Charlotte is admitted it was fascinating to see how she was treated by the doctors and nurses at Central State Hospital. Even reasonable questions and complaints are treated as symptoms of her mental illness and when she becomes understandably angry in response to their dismissive attitudes her reaction is taken as a sign that she’s even more delusional than was previously thought.
I kept wondering how one proves his or her sanity in an environment where everything one says and does is interpreted in the worst possible light. Resurrection doesn’t provide any answers to this question but it did make me think about how much our preconceived ideas about other people in turn affect how they act around us. People really can live up (or down) to the expectations we place on them.
Resurrection is delicious jolt of adrenaline. No sooner will you adjust to one plot twist than another one will jerk you out of your preconceived notions about what will happen next. Will everything turn out okay in the end? The only way to know is to read this book!