Genre: Psychological Thriller / Historical Fiction
Author: Rachel Florence Roberts
Format: Paperback, eBook, 366 pages
Publication Date: Edition 1, November 13st 2013.
Edition 2, 23rd November 2013.
Notes of merit: 5/5 star, Readers Favorite. Recently featured in The Leader, The North Wales Pioneer, Rhyl Journal, Chester First Lifestyle, Chester First, County Times, Denbighshire Free Press, and The Whitchurch Herald.
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdpFnfvuQxQ
Available on Amazon:
Anne wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. Slowly, she realizes she is in a lunatic asylum.
1885. Anne Stanbury - Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems?
Edgar Stanbury - the grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity, and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life.
Dr George Savage - the well respected psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne's future wholly in his hands.
The Medea Complex tells the story of a misunderstood woman suffering from insanity in an era when mental illnesses' were all too often misdiagnosed and mistreated. A deep and riveting psychological thriller set within an historical context, packed full of twists and turns, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.
Anne was a bit aggravating, but you had to keep reminding yourself that she'd been struck with grief. It has been a long time since I've read a book that impressed me to the extent that "The Medea Complex" has. When I first began the book I was mildly impressed, but somewhat aggravated by the actual insanity of the main character. The randomness of her behavior and the constant conjectures of Dr. Savage had me squirming throughout the first chapters. The squirming wasn't negative necessarily, I was enjoying the book but hadn't yet been truly drawn in.
My aggravation towards Dr. Savvage had taken root without any reason much before the book even began.
A few quotes that got my blood boiling:
"Women. Most of them are bordering on the limits of insanity at the best of times." ~Dr. Savage
"I know exactly what caused her insanity. Books. Women and their books." Dr. Savage
Then it happened. I spark of strangeness that I couldn't quite shake. Some happenings that had me questioning what was really going on. Who was right? Who was wrong? Who was the liar? Who killed that baby? I was lost in the book after that.
And I was confused and intrigued until the very end.
Overall This book infuriated me. Obviously, from the rating, you can come to the conclusion that this is actually a very good thing. I was angry at Dr. Savage, I was angry at the nurses, I was angry at Anne's husband, and darned if I wasn't angry at Anne too! I felt sympathy, and disgust, and confusion, and compassion for our main character AND the Dr. throughout the book.
Just when I had started to hate Dr. Savage with all my heart, he would do something genuinely, authentically kind. He would have an epiphany that contradicted his otherwise ignorant and sexist thoughts.
"Sometime simple human wamth can do wonders for a lost person." ~Dr. Savage
What the heck, Dr.! You're not supposed to be good meaning! You're supposed to be easily hated. Why are you making it so difficult to draw perfectly reasonable conclusions about you?
Back and forth. Back and forth. By the middle of the book I had no idea who to trust, or what to make of the situation. I was starting to feel like I was looking through a foggy lense at a puzzle that was poorly pieced together, and yet I was so curious and determined to understand WHAT was going on.
Author Rachel Roberts crafted a fantastic mystery, without making it seem a mystery at all. I was constantly asking myself questions, sitting back and considering the facts presented, and rolling my eyes at the ignorance of the time.
This book was intelligently written and there were no points throughout where I felt there were holes or weak story points. This was a strong, solid work made even more intriguing by the fact that it was based off of true events, true people, true horrors.
I actually feel compelled to check out all of the resources Ms. Roberts compiled at the end of the book for curious readers.
Ms. Roberts has created something that lures the reader into a fog of knowing some things, but not enough things. So, the reader draws their own conclusions based on personal feelings and even a bit of rambling from "Professional" sources. Consideration isn't made for alternatives until it's much too late to be prepared for the twist.
Without giving too much away (because you MUST read this book. RIGHT NOW) I'll say that I was flabbergasted by the way things progressed and the way things ended.
"The Medea Complex" will definitely find itself featured as one of the "Best Books Read in 2014" and Rachel Roberts is now on the list as one of my Favorite Authors.
I wish I could write all about this book. Just type it all out here in the review to prove to you how impressive and incredible this work is. But I don't want to give anything away. I want you to experience it for yourself.
This is a book to watch, and an author to keep up with.
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