Okay, I read the first twelve chapters of your book and I like it a lot so far. Your writing style is perfect and the story you have to tell is highly intelligent, darkly humorous, and wonderfully heartbreaking. This is still an incredibly well crafted book that has sympathetic characters on nearly every side. Your writing style is almost godly and your high intelligence is as obvious as the Stanbury family’s exquisite agony.
William Frank, California
The story is strong, captivating and moving and deserves the success it’s had so far. It’s not something I would usually read but it really held my attention and I can’t wait to read more!
Sian Jones, Wales
I enjoy reading psychological thrillers. This is a very compelling read. The opening with Anne waking up in a strange bed is engaging, especially when it turns out she is confined in Bethlem Royal Hospital. There is great attention to detail especially to the bleak conditions in which the mentally insane were confined in at that time. I look forward to reading more.
Carol Jefferies, UK
Hi Rachel. I’ll be utterly honest with you. Normally, the first 3000-4000 is enough for me to know whether I am going to enjoy a story or not. I have read up to here in Chapt 4. I stopped, only because the rest of the book was not available because of re-editing. I would have carried on and carried on to the end. What a fantastic story and characterisation. I loved the part with the chamber pot and Fat Ruth.
I have been an historical researcher for more than forty years and have researched all kinds of subjects. I also write historical articles for a site I admin on, Apollo Blessed. Mostly, apart from these articles, I apply my research to the horror fiction I write, short stories, poems, novellas and novels. You have captured beautifully, the horrors of these barbaric institutions we used to call Mental Health Facilities. I have found in my research, that the things that went on behind these dire and dread walls in the 19th century, was far more brutal and diabolical than anything my twisted imagination could throw up. Many years ago, I did my duty as an Auxilliary Nurse at a local hospital. I was prompted by one of the Ward Sisters there to put in for my exams to become an RGN and then to take my psychiatric training to become an RMN, as I had apparently shown an aptitude towards this with the way I dealt with the patients in my care and, admittedly, it was something I was greatly interested in. However, shortly before my exam date, I was rushed to hospital with life threatening DVT which greatly damaged my knee and this was followed almost immediately by the onset of Poly Arthritis. Therefore, I can wholly sympathise with Ann’s plight and the terror she feels that you so aptly describe. The story is beautifully written and flows easily, making it a delight to read. Based on what I have read thus far, I will highly recomend this book, just as soon as I figure out how this site works for I am a newcomer. I will certainly rank it and add it to my bookshelf, if that okay with you? It has been an utter delight Princess and I look eagerly forward to reading the rest. Love and Hugs and God Bless. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Randall A Stone, Lancashire
To take on the subject of mental healthcare in the nineteenth century and wrap this up into a thriller that keeps us entertained as we learn about how different things were back then wins my respect before I’ve even read the first word. Happily, after reading into this story I’m pleased to report that my level of respect only grows if anything. I can see why this book is doing so well.
Alistair Miles, Bristol
I just finished your last posted chapter this morning. I don’t usually like to comment until I have read everything, because sometimes books start slowly and become fabulous, and sometimes they grip from page one and then peter out. But I loved all of yours.
Melissa Brace, USA
It’s obvious you did extensive research on the time period. It shows through every aspect of your writing: The setting, the dialogue, the character’s thoughts and behavior. – It all fits the time the story takes place and creates an authentic feel to the story.
S T Grace, USA
Okay, this book is fantastic. It has it all. Amazing characters (some that make me wish I was in the book to push them over a cliff – Ruth…..), it has a great storyline. I had to back it. It really is a great read.
Brian Ramos, UK
Oooh, this is seriously good stuff! The two characters who have engaged me most are Anne (likeable) and Stanbury (awful! – ‘when can you return my wife to me?’ he sounds like his prized posession has been damaged and sent to a repair shop – like a car with a broken wing mirror. And all that talk about my (not our) son – ugh!) I am hoping this ends with Anne being restored to life outside (possibly with her father) and Stanbury ending up in the workhouse. Anyway, you can see that I am gripped by this.
Belinda Walker, UK
Whoohoo! This is fun. I read the first three chapters, and I want to read more. I love how it seems a perfect blend of the classic tone and atmosphere, balanced with the psychological aspect. We can tell she’s mad–but we can make sense of it at the same time. We can SEE how the others perceive her. Wonderful! And the action begins right away, sucking the reader in. It was very, very exciting! I would definitely put this on my book wish list. So far it is so much fun, and it’s rare that I find a new book that has just the right tone of novel set in a past time.
Jazmine Isles, Toronto
I settled down for a read of ‛The Medea Complex’ thinking okay, I’ll give it a shot, even though I am not that much of a fan of historical fiction. Within the first few paragraphs of the opening chapter I was hooked. Lady Anne had me in stitches with her dialogue and behaviour. Sorry, I know it’s meant to be a sober account of someone suffering from a deranged mind but I’ve always seen the funny side of mental illness, (like laughing when someone falls over) it’s a scary, quirky kind of humour, set apart from all other humour.
I now have a stick in the garden that I tell the time by and a chamber pot at the ready:)
On a more serious note: I love the way you write, descriptive enough to set the atmosphere of the terrible institutions that existed in those bleak times. Your attention to minutiae detail (the flakes of paint, the stick she keeps asking for) only add to the madness of the world this poor woman has receded into. At times she is rational, seeing the people that have her incarcerated as lower class, then, when her irrational behaviour kicks in and the madness returns we get a glimpse of why she is there. It all pulls together into a story that flows really well. No prologue, (high marks) that would have spoiled the mystery at the beginning. The characters, are well formed individuals all with their own characterised personalities. Like reading Charles Dickens, you don’t need to see the characters to know what they look like. I can picture each of them in my mind. Chopping from one characters perspective to another’s is a difficult way to write, and you did this really well.
In the immortal words of the late Magnus Magnusson. “I’ve started so I’ll finish.” I shall be quite upset if I don’t get to read the conclusion of this fine book.
Levy Walsh, Berkshire
I was finally able to start The Medea Complex. Wow! A very unique story and perspective, extremely well-written, great attention to detail and wonderfully descriptive.