One of this author’s greatest strengths is the simplicity of
her premises, and this is another of those – if at times a little bizarre. But again, as always with Louise, scratch
deep enough beneath the tenderly itching surface and you will reveal a multitude
of complex layers. It might be superficially
about a psychotherapist kidnapped by her deranged patient, but the nature of
her profession should tell you that there is much, much more to both of these
key players and their backstories. What Dr.
Glass lacks in overly convoluted storyline it more than makes up for with
its real objective: vivid detail and profound analysis. It is deep, rich and utterly cerebral, and
most of its wordiness is descriptive in nature.
This isn’t so much a story, but rather a psychological journey of grief,
hate, self-loathing, judgement and remorse, as rationality is turned on its
head by both antagonist and protagonist alike.
By the end, the lines are blurred between which of them is the real case
study. Its themes are intriguing ones,
and each utterly worthy of the proportion of depth Louise affords them: as you
can imagine, maternal filicide, Stockholm syndrome, self-harm and suicide are
not issues to be brushed over lightly, nor frivolously used in the name of entertainment. Be advised that there is profound attention
given to each of these subjects, but also be assured that the author gives them
the respect they are due.
As far as entertainment goes, I have to say that I enjoyed
the book a great deal, as I have with all of Louise’s work, and read it in just
a couple of sittings, utterly gripped; it is definitely another of those “just one
more chapter” at two in the morning reads.
That said, don’t expect an easy ride; it is tough, intense and very
bleak at times – as would befit its psychological drama genre. I don’t think this was helped by what I know
to be the author’s preferred present-tense narrative writing style, and again I
found that problematic; I didn’t really feel that it suited the book, and there
were odd occasions in which it felt a touch confused by itself.
The writing itself, though, not unexpectedly, is top drawer. Once again, this writer has triumphed both
creatively and educationally, and good luck to her.
In : Book Reviews