Monday, June 14

Book Review of June

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The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung
A psychological drama that is likely to fool you (as a good psychological drama should!). Alexa Wu is a brilliant young woman with multiple personality disorder. She communes daily with the others who reside within her, acknowledging the role that each play in her complicated and perplexing daily life. Not at all Sybil-like in her functionality, she is cognizant of these beings and (for the most part) why they play the roles that they do. Her biggest concern is losing time. Besides her therapist, the two people who are aware of her dissociative disorder are her stepmother, Anna, with whom she lives, and her best friend, her “Reason” – Ella – the world’s coolest babe! Where Ella is totally comfortable with the changing personae emerging from Alexa’s “nest” (as she refers to the nucleus of activity for the “flock”, or group of personalities she harbors), Anna is less so; though Anna remains steadfastly loyal even though Alexa’s father has long since deserted them.
The narration of the story is shared between Alexa and her therapist, Daniel Rosenstein, a single father and broken soul who is at once intrigued and terrified at the prospect of integrating Alexa’s various personalities. Alexa shares the frightening news that Ella has taken employment at a gentlemen’s club, which turns out to be even worse that it appeared on the surface. Secrets abound and Ella and Alexa are soon caught up in the underbelly of London’s most destructive society.
Misogyny and mental illness playing a dual role, Alexa attempts to rescue Ella and the truth becomes more and more painstakingly evident. Can it set everyone free or is it destined to bury one and all into interminable mind-bending blindness? A truly compelling and thought-provoking novel!

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