Thursday, February 21, 2008
Book Review: "Finding Alice" by Melody Carlson
You're your own worst enemy
Alice is a twenty something college student who seems to be living a normal life. But then after her boyfriend breaks up with her, something in her snaps. Thus begins Alice's journey of life with schizophrenia. It's a a terrifying ride that robs Alice of all her senses and is definately not a trip to Wonderland. Shunned by the church and taken into an institution where drugs are forced on her, she hides out in the street, with her mind becoming her worst enemy. But there is hope and with a little help from new friends, a way where Alice will finally find herself again.
This was one of the hardest and most impacting books that I have ever read. It was a definite eye opener with a subject you don't hear much about. I cannot even imagine what I would do if I was in Alice's situation. It would be a daily struggle to survive every day. Frankly it was quite scary to read about Alice's schizophrenia and what it did to her. The voices inside her head almost drove her to kill herself because they made her doubt everything and everyone. It was really frightening to think about how many people have to suffer from this every day and even if they get help, still have to deal with it for the rest of their lives.
The worst part, for Alice, is how her church (which to me seemed more like a cult) completely shunned her and banished her because they believed her mental illness to be a demon. I really appreciated how the author handles this, showing the reader that while there are Christians who do understand and will help you out, there is also a darker side that won't acknowledge this situation. It's painful yet refreshing to show how there are severely flawed Christians who need to be taught not to be judgmental or walking around with planks in their eyes. I'm glad though that there was a glimmer of hope for her and that she was able to cope with her mental illness. I really love how Melody Carlson writes about subjects that many Christians shy away from and don't want to talk about. She writes these books with such conviction and grittiness because these are topics that we shouldn't avoid. This is edgy fiction at it best and I believe that it rivals mainstream fiction. This is not just a Christian novel, this is a novel that EVERYONE should read to learn more about what mental illness is really like. If you want a book that will leave you impacted, pick this book up.
Finding Alice by Melody Carlson is published by Waterbrook (2003)