Somehow Goodreads.com referred the book I Never Promised Your a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg to me and I was interested in reading it. This novel is a semi-autobiographical and tells Greenberg’s epic struggle with schizophrenia when she was a teenager.
Greenberg presents a realistic portrayal of the mind of a person with mental illness. She uses the character of Deborah to be her representative of her life for the novel. Entering Deborah’s mind it feels you are wading into another world, one that is burdensome, yet essential to the main character. You have to be impressed by the capability and creativity of Deborah to make an entire world, “the kingdom of Yr”, rich with characters and with a developed language, but world that Deborah has created is terrifying (I have said there is a fine line between genius and insanity). What I do like about Deborah is her zeal to attain health or a more healthy mentality which is evident in her development of bonding with others in the real world.
This book was an excellent read. Here are a few quotes I pulled from the book that struck me.
“I never promised you a rose garden. I never promised you perfect justice . . . and I never promised you peace of happiness. My help is so that you can be free to fight for all of those things. The only reality I offer is challenge, and being well is being free to accept it or not at whatever level you are capable. I never promise lies, and the rose-garden world of perfection is a lie . . . and a bore, too!” pg. 103
“I once had a patient who used to practice the most horrible tortures on himself, and when I asked him why he did such things, he said, ‘Why, before the world does them.’ I asked him then, ‘Why not wait and see what the world will do?’ and he said, ‘Don’t you see? It always come at last, but this way at least I am master of my own destruction.” pg. 37
Thanks for reading!