This short novel tells the story of Renee and Michael Talbott and their son Evan, a young man "admitted to the hospital as a voluntary patient when he was no longer able to survive in the outside world." Evan's schizophrenia and recurrent institutionalizations, described from his mother's point of view, devastate his family and drive a wedge of guilt and resentment between his mother and step father.

The novel, although written in simple, straight-forward prose, suggests a Dickens-like expose' of social ills, human entanglement, and (perceived) medical mistakes. At the book's conclusion, Renee, sensitized to the fate of all who suffer from mental illness, finds no resolution even when Evan is, for a time, stable and independent.


Although this book is labeled a novel, it reads more like memoir--the story seems to be the author's own fictionalized tale of her son's illness, one that echoed the mother's. The author is honest in her revelations: how reluctant a family can be to see changes in a loved one; how a mother might disregard a physician's insights in order to preserve hope; how a loved child might, through mental illness, become a stranger. At the end of the book, a helpful resource guide lists web sites and specific tri-state mental health departments and associations.


The author is an award winning short story author and an advocate for the mentally ill in the tri-state area. She serves on regional mental health boards and as a liaison to the mentally ill homeless.


Palisade Literary Press

Place Published

Jersey City, N.J.



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