The Rubber Fence (Review & Giveaway!)

The Rubber Fence (Review & Giveaway!)
Hi there!

Title: The Rubber Fence

Author: Diana Stevan
Publisher: Island House Publishing
Published Date: 3rd March 2016
Rating: 3 Stars
*Thanks to the author for the review copy*

 Synopsis: It’s 1972. Women
are breaking out, families are breaking down, and men are trying to hold on for
the ride. 

Dr. Joanna Bereza is a psychiatric intern who
wants to have it all: a career, a loving marriage, and a family, but her
passion to do what’s right sets her against a system that’s as stuck as the
people it treats. 

On ward 2B, Joanna becomes obsessed with the
treatment of two women: a mute young mother suspected of trying to kill her
baby and a feisty old woman who’s been through the mill one too many times.
Blinded by her obsession, Joanna not only neglects her own husband, but in
trying to stop her patients from getting shock treatment, she also puts her
career in jeopardy. Further complicating matters is the seductive senior
resident who looks more like a hip rock star than an aspiring shrink. Shadowing
Joanna’s work is her own unresolved grief over something that happened when she
was a child. 

The Rubber Fence was inspired by the author’s
experience as a family therapist on a psychiatric ward.

Review: The Rubber Fence by Diana Stevan is the second book of hers
that I have read. Her works never fail me because they are usually meaningful,
and beautifully written as well. Both of the books of hers that I have read
involve romance, but not in the way that makes it overwhelming for the rest of
the plot.
This is a
historical fiction book set in 1972. It appears a lot of things were happening
at that time. Women were just starting to step up in their rights and work in
higher positions than they were previously allowed before. Electric shock
therapy was finally being questioned in the psychiatry units. Those are the two
main things that this book focuses on – especially as the main character,
Joanna, is a woman working in a psychiatry unit who wants to try a new approach
that doesn’t involve electric shocks to patients.
It was kind of
difficult hearing about the way she was treated sometimes. Either men were
putting her down and regarding her voice as inferior and unimportant, or they
were simply trying it on. I do think it was all realistic though. I also liked
how Joanna was such a strong and stubborn character. Sure, it did make for a
flaw sometimes when she couldn’t see beyond her own decisions, but at other
times it really brought her character to life.
I found it
especially interesting to learn about the reasons why different people were
drawn to the ward. You get the insight into quite a few background stories of
patients and it makes me think about what truly pushes people over the edge and
into madness. How can we even define madness? It sometimes makes me marvel how
someone can be given a person, a situation and their emotions and discover
whether they have a mental illness, or are feeling depressed or have actually
been pushed over the brink. This book definitely had me thinking about that.
We don’t only get
the focus on Joanna here. Seeing as it is told in third person we sometimes
switch the focus to other characters. Through different lenses we learn that
things are rough all over. Everyone is hurting in some way or feeling like they
are being mistreated. Occasionally they know their role in making it this way,
and in others they don’t. I think that’s what it must be in real life – rough all
over. Another theme that the book manages to portray perfectly.
I felt like the
beginning half of this book was rather slow. It wasn’t boring, but in
comparison to the second half I wasn’t as invested at all. By the time I
crossed the 50% threshold I was head over heels immersed in the story and
wanting to know how it was going to end. Suddenly, there were twists all over
the place that I hadn’t seen coming. The idea of things being rough all over
amped up a notch. Or maybe even a few notches!
The ending of
this book left me incredibly satisfied. When I read the acknowledgements I was
surprised to see that this is based on a true story. Of course, the characters
are fictional but Diana Stevan herself worked in a psychiatry unit in her past.
And I learned that electric shock therapy is still being used in some places
today – something I personally see as unacceptable.
I learned a lot
from this book and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing what Stevan
writes next!
The twistedness
and escalation had me wondering how everything would pan out. I was definitely
satisfied with the ending.

Giveaway! Enter to win an ebook copy of The Rubber Fence. Open internationally!

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Question: Did you know electric shock therapy was still being used? Do you
approve or not?
Olivia-Savannah x

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