Tag Archives: mental illness

Book review: The Twisted Window by Lois Duncan (0440201845) E-book

This is an unusual and disturbing story about mental illness.  The attractive, new guy at school, Brad Johnson, has taken an interest in Tracy Lloyd, but what does he really want from her.  If it only could be so easy.  His story is heart-wrenching and frightening and her fate is in the hands of this confused young man.

A young adult novel with twists and turns that catch you off guard.  It will take you in and leave you gasping.

Thank you to Ms. Duncan, Open Road Media and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book.


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Book review – Forgiving Troy: A True Story of Murder, Mental Illness, and Recovery by Thom Bierdz (9781615394852)

Thom Bierdz is an actor, artist, author and loving brother who reaches into his own psyche to tell a heart wrenching and raw account of his life that will leave you breathless.

Not only does Thom write about his struggle to understand why his brother murdered his mother, but he writes about his struggles with his religious beliefs, his sexuality, his acting career and his own mental challenges. His writing style is remarkable. You feel like he is sitting right in front of you telling his life story and he leaves nothing out.

A very gripping book that pulled me in from the beginning. I read this book in one sitting and will not forget it. One of the best memoirs I have read in a long time. I look forward to Thom’s return to The Young and the Restless and I hope to see a motion picture soon based on this book.

Also, I want to mention Thom’s striking artwork that is displayed throughout the book. He has a website at http://www.ThomBierdz.com that shows more of his work.

Thank you very much to Thom and Bostick Communications for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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Book review: The Jagged Years of Ruthie J. by Ruth Simkin (9781897430545)

Ruthie Simkin’s young life was about to change.  She would have strange, hysterical episodes where she knew subconsciously they were wrong, but she did them anyway.  At age 18 after a particular terrifying incident and after being diagnosed with epilepsy, her mother and father had had enough and against her will, put her in Chestnut Lodge (aka a mental institution).   Ruthie finally realizes her illness and notes that “The only thing I knew about epilepsy was that it was a bad thing to have.  In 1963, epilepsy was considered worse than having a mental illness; it was like mental illness multiplied. “  Thinking she was only going to stay a few weeks, she discovers that getting out will take her 2 long, grueling years.  Commenting about the doctors and administrators at the Chestnut Lodge which catered to wealthier clients, “Those assholes really have it made.  They tell you how to be, tell you how to feel, put the keys in their pockets and collect the cash.”   In the first year of her stay, she has to deal with a doctor who needs to be committed himself.  Her strength perseveres and she finally convinces the administration to assign her to another doctor who changes her life.  With all the seriousness of this book, there were bits of humor thrown in such as “I smiled thinking that while my friends were into rock and roll, I was into rock and remember.”  There are no holds barred in this memoir.  Ruthie tells it like it is and doesn’t leave out the details of the harsh reality of living in a mental hospital.   She didn’t let her confinement change who she was and stayed strong through some very difficult circumstances   Ruth Simkin is now a physician and a public speaker who talks about her experience as an ex-mental patient.  An inspiring read.

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