Author: Gabriella Murray
Publisher: Self Published
UK Publication Date: 3rd January 2011
Set in an experimental hospital for the criminally insane in the 1950s, CONFINEMENT is loosely based on the author’s one year residency in a psychiatric center, when lobotomies and other equally cruel treatments were rampant, and when the highly-experimental “Insulin Therapy” was in vogue.
Duffino, an attractive girl in her early 20s, is sent to a mental hospital when she refuses to defend herself at trial for the highly publicized, gang-related murder of her boyfriend’s rival. Refusing to speak, Duffino is ordered locked-up until she’s willing to talk.
The richness of the story unfolds with Duffino’s relationship to the other inmates, all in for violent crimes, including her obese roommate, Charlotte, sentenced for murdering a nun. Charlotte becomes obsessed with Duffino, and will not let up until she speaks.The inmates slowly come to learn why they did the crimes they did, as they make us question the true nature of guilt.
Between the horrifying treatments, the group therapy sessions, the flashbacks to violent crimes, the question of whether Duffino will talk, and the constant hope of escape‘ (From Amazon.co.uk, 25th January 2013)
Compared to other reviews I have read I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Some people complained of typos but I think the author has edited the book as I didn’t not notice many if any typos.
On to the novel. Written from the perspective of Charlotte – a long term patient who was brought up in a convent before she murdered her room mate which landed her in hospital. Before Duffino even arrives Charlotte is obsessed with her and her story which is filling the newspapers. She decides then and there that she will cure Duffino and will make her speak again.
The novel focuses on Charlotte’s obsession on curing Duffino and her and Duffino’s journey within the hospital. The author has created an interesting book with a good story line which includes enough background knowledge of the 1950s experimental insulin therapy procedures.
The story flowed well, and after the end of one chapter I was kept awake even later as I needed to move onto the next. This novel pulled me through quickly. I am very interested in mental health and psychiatric history. I think having some knowledge of the history of psychiatry and a knowledge of mental illness meant that this book made more sense to me and the relationship between Charlotte and Duffino was the driving force of the plot.
The one thing that I disliked is the cover. I’m sorry it just doesn’t appeal to me.
This is book one in the Love and Madness Series.
4 out of 5