HIGH ON A HILL by Lucy Daniels


Email this review


The panorama on the hill reveals to us a huge cast of characters moving fluidly within the highly controlled environment of Holly Springs, a mental hospital just outside N.Y.C. The majority of the characters are patients at the hospital; the other three, psychiatrists on the staff who are differentiated from the patients by the lesser degree to which their copious inadequacies and anxieties cripple them. Dr. Holliday, the deceptively easy-going director of Holly Springs who awakens too late to the reality of his crumbled marriage, Dr. McLeod, the inflexible woman who rigorously controls Holly Springs after Holliday goes into private practice, and Dr. Pierson, the young psychiatrist with a club foot and an inordinate fear of women who eventually falls in love with Eileen O'Hara, one of his patients, are but a few of the characters we follow from a rather clinical point of view during the course of the novel. Each character is developed in a kind of analytic style- every event that occurs at Holly Springs sets off a chain of responses in the various characters, usually in the form of memory and recall of childhood events. The consistently fast pace of this novel slows down disappointingly towards the end and many of the characters are typed, but Miss Daniels is to be commended on her insight into the agony of mental illness and her efforts to present a realistic (if necessarily limited) picture of the actual workings of a private mental hospital for the average reader.

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 1961
ISBN: 0595200249
Publisher: McGraw-Hill