LOVE IN A DARK HOUSE by Meria Zellerbach


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An Incalculably foolish first novel commutes between San Francisco society and a private mental sanatorium, and deals with the romantic rehabilitation of Olivia Stokes ($toke$ in the columns) as she leaves an empty existence with her husband to devote herself to the management of her father's mental hospital after his death. An attraction certainly is Gregory Black, its new director, and a decisive and dedicated figure with lots of new ideas: he is reluctant to use shock or seduction, and wants to set up ""a working therapeutic community"" with no locked wards. Olivia too is experimental- she provides Gregory with a demonstration of the new hallucinogen- LSD. Much of this back-fires however when one of Gregory's most susceptible patients, a schizophrenic, goes berserk, attacks Olivia (he has been deliberately deprived of his tranquilizer by a vindictive member of the staff) and Olivia's rejected suitor makes the most and worst of it. Olivia however fights it through and clears Gregory's record, and the attempt to destroy their collaborative enterprise.... Hardly therapeutic for the profession, in spite of its author's obvious sympathy, this lies in that no-man's land of women's fiction- and it is somewhere between occupational twaddle and romantic trash.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1961
Publisher: Doubleday