My Home, My Prison --
Reviews by MARILYN STASIO --
Published: March 5, 2009 --
Jacqueline Winspear carries on her champion work on behalf of traumatized war veterans, “men who are still waiting for their armistice,” as she puts it, in AMONG THE MAD (Holt, $25), the sixth novel in an outstanding historical series featuring Maisie Dobbs, a battlefield nurse in World War I who has gone into practice as an investigative psychologist in postwar London. By 1931, England has finally begun emptying its mental institutions of the 80,000 men who’ve been given a diagnosis of shell shock, while ignoring those “who are in a cell in their mind.” But when one of these walking wounded detonates a grenade on Christmas Eve, Maisie is tapped for a government investigation into terrorist groups that recruit mentally unstable veterans to carry out their anarchist agendas.
Maisie may have tenuous credentials for serving in such high-powered company, but Winspear uses her visits to hospitals and mental asylums to document the outdated protocols used for treating war-damaged psyches. Like Maisie, the novel’s storytelling style is efficient and humorless, but deeply empathetic.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
My Home, My Prison (Jacqueline Winspear)
From The New York Times Sunday Book Review --