Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Readers say...(on Amazon)

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book Therapy. We all Need It., September 24, 2010

By chefchick - See all my reviews

This review is from: Therapy: A Novel (Paperback)

A good read always makes me feel better. "Therapy - A Novel" made me feel good. I've never been a fan of therapy or therapists. I've really only been to therapy once, during my divorce. The therapy here, in the novel, consists mainly of stories from Barbara's life; her childhood, married life and motherhood experiences.

Somehow I think I gleaned a little therapy for myself in reading Barbara's story. Her voice, and the very vivid memories she has of her family, and her experiences as a young woman and mother, were so well-written, touching, funny, and for me, so relatable.

I enjoyed this book because it surprised me too. It held no cliches.
I read a great deal and many times I can predict what will happen in a novel. But Barbara's life, like my own, is totally unpredictable. The best part, rather than merely soul-searching, or going on some stupid eat pray love roadtrip, and accepting the lousy slump of her life, (like I think most people, especially women are expected to do), she makes drastic changes, grabs life by the balls, and finds more happiness.

This is not a self-help book, I never read that crap.

I get my therapy from unexpected sources, great song lyrics, a special sunrise, something sweet my kids say, like a pill in jelly, this book.

Readers say... (on Amazon)

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, September 28, 2010

By Janice Schuster - See all my reviews

This review is from: Therapy: A Novel (Paperback)

I found it hard to put this book down and stayed up too late one night to finish it. It is well written and the characters are highly interesting, especially the main character, Barbara. The book captures Barbara's feelings and her relationships with everyone and brings home the fact that being accomplished and well thought of does not necessarily make one happy. The dialogue is real and captures conversations that I'm sure frequently do happen between therapists and their clients. Harrie Rose is a talented writer who really should write more fiction. She captures and conveys settings (New England), plots, and characters with ease and draws the reader in to the story very quickly.

Readers say... (on Amazon)

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book, October 18, 2010

By J. L. Knox "Musical Chairs" (USA) -

I read this book after reading Franzen's Freedom, and I was thankful for this timing. I enjoyed Franzen's book, and it was definitely a different, more all-encompassing (macro) structure, but the circumstantial similarities between the books are there. As I read Therapy, I was exposed to a character who, like Franzen's protagonist (Patty), has endured abuse and suffered mental upset. Franzen’s Patty, like Rose’s Barbara, is retracing her tale through the lens of personal psychological discovery; unlike Franzen's book, however, this novel is centered on Barbara's plight alone so we get to zoom in on her life, listen to her thoughts in a more in-depth way. Moreover, Barbara is believable. She's three-dimensional; she's self-sufficient; she's confused and yet not helpless; she's not merely looking for someone to rescue her or define her life. Instead, she is searching for her identity and the root of her pain, searching to define her own standards in a relationship, and yet she's doing so in what is actually a far more self-realizing decade than that of many coming-of-age novels/memoirs.

This book is important in that it breaks apart many common dilemmas men and women face in self-realization, and yet it does so without being overly sentimental or preachy. It also investigates the multi-faceted (and very personal, in this case) relationship between a psychologist and patient. It offers insight into what can happen when we rely too much on external forces to fight an internal battle. Perhaps most important, the book is well-written and moves seamlessly. I recommend it to anyone who's the least bit interested in psychology.

Friday, October 8, 2010

An Excerpt from my Novel

Well, I bit the bullet and gave a reading at a local bookstore.  Of course, I was filled with dread.  Would anyone even show up?  Well, they did.  Almost all the seats were taken.  Some of the people had already read the book, which was good for discussion.  Others, who had not, bought it after the reading. Of course, I signed them all.

The passage I read starts on p. 15.  The book opened with Barbara's depression, which had resulted in her staying in bed all day for weeks.  Then, she finally went to a psychiatrist.  This excerpt describes what happened the next day.

The next morning, to my  husband's surprise, I crawled out of bed at six o'clock, shoved my feet in beat up old sneakers, pulled a T-shirt over my head and raced out the front door.  I felt a great urge to walk.  Living deep in the country, I had my choice of hacking my way through overgrown woodland trails or walking on paved roads.  That morning, I chose the roads, which were, as usual, quite deserted, with only the occasional car whooshing by.

It was early spring.  The trees were pregnant with buds.  The deep blue of the myrtle was creeping  out of the woods.  The forsythias were showing off their brilliant yellow branche in the first of the real flashy spring hows.  The robins were back, hopping on the lawn, cocking their heads to hear worms in the soil.  Swallows scissored against the blue skies, enjoying the Mayflies no doubt, those thick swarms of nasty little flies that got into your mouth and eyes if you dallied outside in the early evening when the sun was down but it was still light.  They made ealy morning walks and Little League games a torment. When my sons were still children, good mommy that I was, I never missed a practice or a game.  I sat and watched them try to thwack the ball after the interminable waiting for their turns.  My boredom was rofound, my discomfort from biting bugs agonizing.  Still, I never told anybody how I hated Little League.