There is a fine line between madness and magic. It is 1989 and Community Care is about to reboot the industry of psychiatry. In a soon-to-be-closed asylum a bruised nurse, Adam Sands, is feeling less like a purveyor of kindness and more like a concentration camp guard with every passing drink. Years later Adam has got used to the quiet life when his past finds him. Maybe this time he can do some good. Even make a difference. But redemption, like magic, can come from the strangest of places.
Adam and his colleagues work in an asylum targeted for closure in the late 1980's. All are concerned about the welfare of the patients who are about to be transferred into care in the community, but some intentions are more benign than others. After a single terrible event the story is transported into the present time and the characters are all brought together again by a series of peculiar events. What transpires is a credible and hugely satisfying resolution.
The author (not to be confused with the identically named broadcaster) has worked in mental healthcare and so there is a stamp of authority in his description of life in an asylum and the lives and indignities suffered by the patients. This is a serious subject but the story is told with humour and style and with a group of vivid and engaging characters. I finished listening to this a few days ago and I still find myself thinking about it. I expect this is one of the few books I will go back to again.
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Any additional comments?
The narration by Nathaniel Tapley is very well done. The story is pretty engaging, I found it a little hard to follow at times and left me utterly confused at the end though. I think I have to listen to this book again. All in all I'd recommend listening to this book though and I'm looking forward to listen to more books by Mark Radcliffe.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful