Sunday, 20 March 2016

THE CREEPSHOW by Adria J Cimino

The CreepshowThe Creepshow by Adria J. Cimino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Wanda Julienne was the perfect employee. Until she had a baby.
Wanda, a thirtysomething single mother, returns to her job at an international financial services firm after maternity leave and finds her world turned upside down. The colleague who filled in for her made disastrous errors that should have cost him his position. Instead, management pressures Wanda to repair the damage overnight and take on new assignments that are a sure recipe for failure. Add in a dose of sexual harassment and Wanda, who can’t afford to lose her job, feels trapped.
Slowly, she discovers that other colleagues have experienced similar treatment, but no one wants to talk about it.
At home, the situation isn’t much brighter. Wanda struggles to balance her baby’s needs and her tough work schedule. Her best friend, Galina, and the ex-boyfriend Wanda never thought would return try their best to offer support, but the attention only suffocates her.
Wanda turns her back and isolates herself, submerged in a downward spiral, until Galina suggests a way out—but the exit won’t be without drastic consequences. (Goodreads)

MY REVIEW: I received a copy of this book as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program so didn’t know much about it at all. As I started reading, I thought the themes were significant and contemporary — the treatment of women by employers after they have had time off work to have a child and various forms of oppression and harassment in the workplace. But I was ultimately disappointed in this novel. The book is written in a very simple style with what I would consider a quite low reading level. In the end, the story finished very abruptly just as it had the potential to move into a good legal thriller. The story has great potential that it just doesn’t achieve.

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Saturday, 5 March 2016


Random Reflections of a Looney BinRandom Reflections of a Looney Bin by Gordon M. Kerkham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Gordon Kerkham knows that some people will be offended by the term “looney bin,” but in his opinion, that’s what they were and what they are—and as such, that’s what they should be called. Too many “professional mental healthcare” centres, in his experience, are little more than dumping grounds for the people we don’t want to see or acknowledge in our world—those living with mental illness or intellectual disabilities.
As a nurse, director of nursing, consultant, and head of professional health education at a university, he has earned his opinion of the system. In Random Reflections of a Looney Bin, he lifts the veil that surrounds an area that most people are not willing to explore. Offering passage into a hidden world, this memoir shares his memories of life in a variety of mental healthcare facilities and his work with aged, handicapped, and psychiatric patients.
He writes in what he calls “true myth” style, meaning his reflections represent mostly the truth with some of the folklore and myth that accumulates through time. His aim is to show that these events all happened—and are still happening today in many parts of the “civilised” world. In his own experience and in those shared by caregivers in other locations, he has concluded that regardless of location, these facilities have more in common than most might want to believe.

MY REVIEW: Let me get this out of the way first: this book desperately needs a proper proofread and editing. There are punctuation and grammatical errors throughout that are incredibly irritating and detracts from the positive qualities of this memoir. Having said that, the stories are quite interesting and Kerkham can does a good job of telling them. This volume covers the author's training as a psychiatric nurse in the days when the main focus was on custodial care and up to the time when the transition was starting towards more professional approaches to the care of the mentally ill. The book is easy to read (apart from the poor editing). There are some pretty amusing moments and some pretty questionable staff. Check it out if you'd like a light, fun (and occasionally tragic) look at what mental health care used to be like. Let's hope the editing and proofreading happens in the next edition because, unless it does, I won't be reading the author's next volume about his experiences learning about general nursing.

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