Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finding Alice

My Rating: 4/5
Pages: 371; Speed: Regular
Subject: Psychology, Religious Fiction

"Sliding into the Rabbit Hole… Would She Ever Return?" (back cover). Alice Laxton is a regular college girl who begins experiencing irregular non-drug-induced visions, voices and psychotic episodes. Her mother is worried and her landlord is starting to get complaints, as regular encounters with the people she loves turns frightful and suspicious! Through a rapidly spiraling imbalance of reality, she finds herself in the rabbit hole of schizophrenia. Soon, she is convinced she is "the chosen one" called to uncover hidden truths from God. She believes a guardian angel and others are speaking to her (or rather shrieking) as she becomes obsessed with journal writing and protecting an imaginary key. Before she knows it, she's locked up in a mental institution, Forest Hills. After traditional therapy of dooping drugs and occasional arm restraints, she breaks free and finds herself meeting Wonderland-like characters on the real streets of Portland. The twin homosexuals remind her of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, but they give her the rules of homeless living and lead her to "the cat lady" Faye. It is imperative that this girl learns to differentiate between her controlling church's "joy-is-sin" teachings at Salvation Center and the genetic existence of her mental disease. Said in first person, you can see the hardships of steering her rampant mind as she struggles with who to trust and which reality to believe. A good read for anyone trying to find hope and love in mental illness as a whole, particularly with schizophrenia. This award-winning author of more than 90 books has a bit of a Christian undertone, but is not too preachy. The wonders of the mind possibly have a stairway back, but can Alice first discover she's on the wrong end of the looking glass?

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