The Order of Things
St. Martin’s, Mar 2009, $24.95
University research librarian Andreas “Andy” Hackett suffers from deep depression that has begun to impact her work and her everyday living. Going to the job is increasingly difficult so a desperate Andy signs herself into Holly Pines psychiatric hospital for needed help.
However, the therapy depress her further as Andy feels the staff has no interest in helping the patients; in other words it is a job not a profession. Weeks later with the insurance about to end, Andy spends her last night at the chapel where she notices middle aged African-American Lathin due to the bandages on his arms. Later, back in her room, Lathin starts talking to her through the connecting vent. He talks about his family especially his daughter Mary who is an abuse victim who has become a psychosomatic mute. She talks about how shallow life feels and her only good times in a depressing moving from one place to another childhood were with her cousin on their grandmother’s farm until her best friend relative died tragically while Andy failed to help her.
This engaging character study stars an intelligent but troubled woman whose past affirms the child is the adult theory of psychology. Andy is simply unhappy as she has been her entire life except for those brief moments on the farm; even those memories are devastated by the accidental death of her best friend. Readers will empathize with her and appreciate the catharsis dialogue between her and Lathin through the vent as everyone needs a friendly listener. Ironically fans will want a happy ending, but the climax is too simple in to short a time even if confession is good for the soul.