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Chopin in the Attic Hardcover – October 17, 2011
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"Elisabeth Bell Carroll's fascinating story of TLE reveals the depth and complexity of this brain disorder. Chopin in the Attic offers an insider's view of a disorder on the cutting edge of our understanding of the brain and mind." --Eve LaPlante, author of Seized: Temporal Lobe Epilepsy as a Medical, Historical, and Artistic Phenomenon
"Embedded in Chopin in the Attic is a hauntingly beautiful tale. Descriptions of Belle's subjective experiences are unique and occasionally approach brilliant. Also, I had the rare chance of reading how the effects of TLE feel to a young, beautiful and reverent woman." --Henry Marcucella, Ph.D., Boston University Program in Neuroscience
"Elisabeth Bell Carroll understands passion in various guises: mystical, sexual, moral and -- impressively -- intellectual. With the rigour and clarity of a Teresa or an Ignatius, Belle charts the journey of a soul driven by its deepest longings." --Russell Westkirk, M.D., F.R.C.P. (C)
"Chopin in the Attic is a literary achievement of considerable substance. It's unlike anything I've read, though in its freshness of voice and singularity of vision it reminds me of Christina Stead's The Man Who Loved Children." --David Huddle, author of The Story of a Million Years and La Tour Dreams of the Wolf Girl
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The heroine, Belle O'Shane, perceives the world as filled with religious symbolism and mystical meaning. When her perceptions of reality are exploited by an older man who uses her sexually and as the subject of psychological experiments, not only her sanity but her very life is jeopardized.
Told in memoir fashion, Chopin in the Attic is multi-layered, tragic and at times even funny. Populated with a memorable cast of characters almost Dickensian in their eccentric personalities, they carry the story through one vivid scene after another.
At times, Chopin in the Attic has the feel of a picaresque novel, with Belle O'Shane as a post-modern Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
The prose is witty, elegant and artful, perfectly suited to tell a story of such complexity.
The book itself is something of a work of art - beautifully designed and packaged to suggest a journal...it is definitely added value for book lovers.
In Belle's world, statues of Jesus morph into gorgeous young men with whom a young Catholic girl can feel safe and protected--while falling deeper and deeper under a dark influence and venturing onto very thin ice.
As the story unfolds, Belle's undiagnosed Temporal Lobe Epilepsy leads her into dangerous territory, to the point where her involvement with the manipulative medical student Andrew Butterfield might well cost her her life.
Chopin In The Attic is a compelling journey on many levels. Beautifully written and seasoned with just the right amount of salty Irish humor, I highly recommend taking a trip with Belle O'Shane--she is a lively travelling companion.
I may read it over again just for fun! I recommend it.