Thursday, February 14, 2008

THE WOMEN OF MAGDALENE By Rosemary Poole-Carter

This novel is an unexpected gem. It is set in the south just after the end of the Civil War. A young doctor, Dr. Robert Mallory is traveling to his new job as the general practitioner at Magdalene Ladies' Lunatic Asylum. He is making his journey on foot and discovers a woman's body floating in a muddy river. This incident is the beginning of a series of events that allow the reader to look at a slice of American life that is uncomfortable and charged with emotion. The attitudes reflected in the novel are chilling, to say the least.

I felt as if I was reading a private diary kept by a young physician who has seen horrors of war that are beyond my comprehension. The war is over, but not for the women of Magdalene. Dr. Mallory is about to witness inhumanity at its most base level. The authentic feel of the novel makes it captivating.

I am reminded of Jane Austen and her reflections on Victorian society in England. Rosemary Poole-Carter gives the reader a similar glimpse into a dark part of American society. The reader wants to look away, but is so captivated, they can't. This is a powerful and compelling social commentary. What do you think.

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1 comment:

R. Poole-Carter said...

Cheryl, thank you so much for this thoughtful review. It's a writer's delight to be read and understood.
Rosemary Poole-Carter