A fact-based fictional tale presents readers with a gallery of psychological ailments that the characters must confront.
Guy is a prosperous entrepreneur with a side job as a therapist. His clients and friends seem to have only one thing in common: issues. There’s Martha, the elderly woman who for years has lived with regret and a lack of purpose; Gerry, a spirited millionaire who endures the ups and downs of bipolar disorder; and Jennifer, encountering a crisis at work and having an affair with a woman that her husband doesn’t know about. One client in particular, James, seems to be a mirror of Guy, having experienced a traumatic childhood that included his parents’ separation, an abusive boarding school, and molestation by a trusted teacher. Meanwhile, Guy copes with his own predicament as his relationship with his wife deteriorates, culminating in their separation and threatening his treasured relationships with his sons. He is suddenly faced with the bitter reality that he must choose between staying in London, an environment in which he thrives, and remaining close to his sons, who reside in a different city. The final section of the book details Guy’s recovery as he seeks to find balance in his life. Throughout the novel, the plot follows Guy’s psychological state in the usual pattern of exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution; however, the flow is somewhat slow-going, pausing to give more attention to secondary characters and their struggles. Fortunately, Guy’s eventual recovery prevents the story from sinking into despair. With this heartening development, Webster (The Seven Secrets Revealed, 2016, etc.) wraps up the tale in a way that is both practical and motivational. Many readers will likely realize that they are not alone in the obstacles they discover in life. Additionally, some may feel psychologically lifted knowing that, compared to the characters in this yarn, their lives aren’t nearly as chaotic as they thought.
Lacks momentum as a novel but delivers an enlightening examination of the mental maladies that plague many.