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Finding Alice: A Novel

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Jul. 7th, 2006 | 01:05 am
posted by: channan in isbn_045

: Finding Alice
Author: Melody Carlson
genre: fiction (sometimes broadly classified as Christian fiction)
I-Rate: A
your thoughts/brief review:
Using the allegorical characters and imagery of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Carlson unfolds the tale of Alice Laxton, a smart, talented senior at Oregon's Portland State whose life is about to be irrevocably changed by the onset of full-blown schizophrenia. As Alice moves deeper into paranoid delusions, her alarmed mother attempts to have her "demons" cast out by the pastor at Salvation Center, the family's fundamentalist church, then takes her to a mental hospital. After rebelling against treatment, Alice escapes to the streets. She soon acquires a sickly cat, predictably named Cheshire. The "Cat Lady" Faye offers healing for the kitty, a temporary home for Alice and the keys to finding wholeness again-and possibly romance with her nephew,Simon. As Alice gropes toward mental healing, she also finds spiritual healing from her distorted view that schizophrenia is a punishment for her sins. The excellent choice of first-person narrative draws the reader into close identification with Alice, and her bizarre illusions and paranoia feel poignant and believable. The pacing slows a bit toward the end, and some of the scenes where Alice temporarily hooks upwith a group of hippies are reminiscent of Carlson's novel Looking for Cassandra Jane. But kudos to Carlson for tackling this disturbing topic in ways that should broaden an understanding of schizophrenia. (taken from the Barnes & Noble website).
Personally, I really enjoyed this book and read it over two nights time.  It was difficult to put down and when I did put it down I couldn't wait to get back to it.  It was easy to find myself being drawn into Alice's world and made me question some things around me.  A few intense moments actually had me thinking I could be schizophrenic too, lol.  A top-notch read, one of the best I've had in quite awhile. 

*Don't let the Christian fiction label make you shy away, this is in no way one of those mushy, inspirational, preachy type books.  It's labeled this way because the author has written other Christian titles.

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Comments {3}

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from: paper_telescope
date: Jul. 7th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)

twisted psychology plus religion... intense!

Does this book actually describe to you the symptoms or explains the suffering of schizophrenia? I did a research on Insanity Defense a while back, and schizophrenia was a big part of it. :] I just wanted to know more about it.

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from: paper_telescope
date: Jul. 7th, 2006 03:28 pm (UTC)

ps. I know Barnes & Noble writes amazing reviews, but I think it would produce a more personal touch if you wrote it. :] But thank you so much for contributing!

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from: channan
date: Jul. 8th, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)

Well, the story is told in the first person and while they don't directly lay out all the symptoms and so forth, I still think they did an excellent job of explaining it. Some of the descriptions of emotions and such made me feel like I was right there feeling it for myself.

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