Wednesday, February 23, 2011

(22) Letting Go and Learning how to Live

Title: Descanso by Cynthia Tyler
Publisher: Alice Street Editions
163 pages
Genre: LGBT

Synopsis: Two years ago psychotherapist Chris Cameron was devastated by the murder of her partner Robyn. Even now she struggles daily with the loss as she once again tries to find meaning in her own life. It isn't going well. Strangled by her work environment and suffocated by her own overwhelming grief she finally realizes she is searching to find her own spirit.

Review: Kudo's to Cynthia Tyler for writing a fabulous first novel. I loved that the characters aren't young 20 somethings and that every person Chris interacts with isn't a lesbian.  Her spiritual journey is one that I could strongly relate to.  I may not have lost loved one's to death but most of us have felt the grief at the end of relationship. That feeling of being stuck, unable to move forward, and dreading that you have to start over. It was so easy to relate to the main character, you could feel her pain, her confusion and her struggle.

While Chris struggles to regain her personal life she is also stuck in her professional life.  Watching the decline of her profession, watching as decisions that she knows are detrimental are made without regard to the patients but with a look at the bottom line.  Tyler gives a sharp commentary on the state of psychiatry today. Actually Tyler takes swipes at several very timely topics such as gay marriage, the media and religion.

I was pleasantly surprised by how deep and alive this book was.  Very insightful and well done.

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