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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2008
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“Convincing and emotionally gripping.” ―The New York Times
“A rare and wonderful insight into the dark kingdom of the mind.” ―Chicago Tribune
From the Back Cover
Joanne Greenberg's semi-autobiographical novel stands as a timeless and unforgettable portrayal of mental illness.
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
Enveloped in the dark inner kingdom of her schizophrenia, sixteen-year-old Deborah is haunted by private tormentors that isolate her from the outside world. With the reluctant and fearful consent of her parents, she enters a mental hospital where she will spend the next three years battling to regain her sanity with the help of a gifted psychiatrist. As Deborah struggles toward the possibility of the "normal" life she and her family hope for, the reader is inexorably drawn into her private suffering and deep determination to confront her demons. A modern classic, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden remains every bit as poignant, gripping, and relevant today as when it was first published.
"A rare and wonderful insight into the dark kingdom of the mind."―Chicago Tribune
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
This book is fascinating and extremely well written. Adults will probably have the perspective to enjoy it even more than adolescents do. I first read this book when I was 11,and I didn't quite understand it all, but it was still absorbing and fascinating. I reread it many times over the years, each reading feeling more swept away by Deborah's story. Now I'm 43 years old, an M.D., and I still love this book.
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The story of Deborah, a 16-year-old schizophrenic young Jewish girl, is told with amazing insight into the delusions and hallucinations of this type of mental illness. At the same time the "unreality" Deborah experiences is described so creatively, and evocatively, and is so rich and textured, that it is very easy to find yourself falling into "her" vision of the world. This is especially true when her rich fantasies are contrasted with the cold, impersonal and randomly cruel life of the hospital (unfortunately I believe this is a very accurate description of even what was a "good" psychiatric hospital in the 1950's).
-- Deborah's progress closer to "sanity" contains moments of clarity and connection so beautifully described, they can still bring me close to tears.
If I could recommend only one book in the whole of Amazon.com: this would be the one!
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden presents a complete picture of mental illness from the patient's point of view, without the stigma of wrongness that is frequently associated with it. The picture painted is a very real one, from Deborah's relief when the doctors confirm what she's known all along, that something is not right, to the way her family deals with the fact of her illness. Greenberg/Green evokes very strong emotions with her writing. You feel Deborah's fear that her secret world of Yr will punish her for revealing its existence to her doctor, and you share in her triumph when she begins to make her way back to the world. I put down this book with a little more understanding of how it must feel to be mentally ill. I would recommend it to anyone, teen or adult.
I must say that this book should be required reading for anyone dealing with a loved-one's journey towards mental health. One thing people without these problems can't understand is that it is easier to stay sick - that getting healthy is hard work, scary, and LONG! And along the way, the symptoms may get worse, while you're actually getting better. This book is the first time I've seen someone try to explain this phenomenom - that the mentally ill cling to their symptoms as to a life-line, using them as protection while they heal, until the reach the point where those symptoms are no longer needed.
After re-reading this book, I understand my own treatment so much better, and will recommend it to my loved-ones who have to deal with my treatment - maybe they can get a glimmer of understanding. It is rare in this world for any "healthy" person to truly understand mental illness
Deborah's progress closer to "sanity" contains moments of clarity and connection so beautifully described, they can still bring me close to tears. If I could recommend only one book in the whole of Amazon.com: this would be the one!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This will forever be one of my favorite novels. It is a way to dive deep into the mind of a schizophrenic during the time in which it was not a recognized illness. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Manda Sexton
This is an excellent book about a self-destructive schizophrenic young woman placed in a mental institution by her parents. Read morePublished 8 days ago by FlyBoy
The original and still the best fictional exposition of mental illness. A classic.Published 15 days ago by Marie Brack
I read this years ago and wanted to revisit it. I enjoyed it this time too.Published 20 days ago by Susan M. Servin
Great insight into the mind of a person with schizophrenia.Published 2 months ago by Patty Blanchard
I originally read this book 5 years ago. The story haunted me so much that it stayed with me in the forerfont of my mind for two years. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Zara Hoffman
A very wonderfully written tale that takes you inside the mind of mental illnessPublished 3 months ago by Melanie
Excellent portrayal of the struggles of mental illness. Deborah's ordeal to overcome and "get well" are given in touching detail. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Shirley Musich