Calvert’s Review: The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Calvert’s Review: The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence RobertsThe Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts
Published by Createspace Independent Pub on 2013-11-01
Genres: Fiction, Psychological
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
Source: Author
***Based On A True Story***Anne wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. Slowly, she realizes she is in a lunatic asylum. 1885. Anne Stanbury – Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems? Edgar Stanbury – the grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity, and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life. Dr George Savage – the well respected psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne's future wholly in his hands. The Medea Complex tells the story of a misunderstood woman suffering from insanity in an era when mental illnesses' were all too often misdiagnosed and mistreated. A deep and riveting psychological thriller set within an historical context, packed full of twists and turns, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.

I started reading the Medea Complex way back in January. It was really slow to start for such a short book. The novel does pick up about halfway through, but never truly reaches a climax in the narrative. The ‘mystery’ that ties the characters together does not get much attention until two thirds of the way through the book, and is never really given enough detail to explain the motivations of Edgar and Anne Stanbury. The epilogue, while interesting historically, has no direct connection to the rest of the novel. It is an obituary for a character we neither meet or encounter indirectly. It is intended to lend credence to the idea of infanticide, but instead just seems out of place. I believe it would have been better served either as an addition to the sources included in the back, or as an article for an existing character to stumble upon, perhaps as a catalyst towards putting the pieces of Anne Stansbury’s mind together.

The novel looks at a very dark and intriguing period in mental health. However, the story itself disappoints. The short chapters that bounced between character perspectives combined with the thin layer of plot applied over historical research made the Medea Complex both frustrating and boring.

pj - calvert

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