MEMOIRS FROM THE ASYLUM KENNETH WEENE
REVIEWED BY KAREN VAUGHAN
This book will make you chuckle, cry and scratch your head. It will make you question why the neglect and abuse in a state mental institution is prevalent and ignored. Memoirs will make you wonder why people get into the field of mental health and psychiatry only to become burned out shells happy to bring on the valium so they don’t have to deal with the emotional detritus that was once some one’s mind.
The author has painted a vibrant picture what life is like on the inside. It’s not like the patients asked for what was happening to them; life happened to them for various reasons, a break caused by the death of Marilyns mom, the sexual abuse she suffered as a child and her brothers death as well. The death of the narrators close friend and cousin caused his breakdown and commitment. There are other patients with similar stories. Then there is Doctor Buford, a first year resident who feels like a failure as he is not in a cushy private practice dealing with rich head cases so his wife can be happy.
There are laughs in this book and serious drama all pulled together to give the reader pause to think about this stuff. Kenneth Weene has pulled stories from a private practice and years of counselling others to make a great novel for our times. Kudos and five stars to the author for a brilliant tale.