8 March 2014

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Girl, Interrupted
Series: N/A, Standalone
Publication date: 1995 (orig. published 1993)
Publisher: Virago
Genres: Nonfiction, Autobiography
Format: Paperback
Source: Book club
Pages: 168

In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele -- Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor and Ray Charles.

I love stories set in mental hospitals, I think it's an interesting setting and quite different from anything else, which was why I was looking forward to reading this book. It didn't really disappoint me with the setting but I would have loved a bit more detailed description of some of the things and I felt like Susanna was very absent most of the time. It was as if she saw everything from the outside instead of actually being the main character, as she obviously is, since the story is about her. 

I loved that everytime a new character was introduced, the chapter seemed to focus on that particular character. Why she was there, what she was like, who she was before she got to the McLean Hospital. I enjoyed getting to know the characters - even though some of them were quite different and some scared me. 

Even though I loved the setting, the book still had its boring parts - and in a book with less than 200 pages that is not that great. But since this is a nonfiction book and not a fiction book, it is understandable. Susanna didn't make things up, this is her story about her time living in a mental hospital becoming friends with people who never got out or never returned. 

With all that in mind I am a bit torn about this book, on one hand I enjoyed it, and on the other I am a bit "meh". My "meh" is probably because I had some expectations for this book and it didn't really live up to them. So I will give this book a 3 berry rating

Challenges: Full House: Setting I'd like to visit
Resolutions: Review all the books I read / Venture out of my comfort zone

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