A review by Amanda.
Lindell “Lindy” Wellbrook is a therapist who had just opened her own practice. One of her first clients was a little girl named Molly, who captured Lindy’s professional interest with her obsession with dolls, the imaginary world she has created called the Land of Pretty, and (most intriguing of all) an alternate identity. Pen, an adult male personality, was created to protect Molly from the horrors of her life before she began therapy. He was abrasive, crude, and caused Lindy to fear for her client’s well-being. Believing that she has found the root of Molly’s issues, Lindy decided to help her get rid of Pen and bases her future treatments on that premise. Certain that she was on the right path, Lindy got a major shock when Molly committed suicide after showing signs of improving.
The format the author uses keeps you interested, even through some of the less intense scenes. The story is told in past tense from Lindy’s perspective and focuses on her personal life, divided into Before Molly and After Molly. Separating the chapters are transcripts of Molly’s sessions in therapy. Lindy developed an obsession with figuring out why Molly would kill herself when she seemed to be doing better and listens to the tapes, trying to find a reason.
I enjoyed this book very much, but it was difficult to like to Lindy in the beginning. She is extremely driven, intelligent and has commitment issues. She approaches her work from a place of self-righteous detachment—she views each client as a challenge. She does genuinely want to help, but her interest in Molly soars when the alternate personality appears, because of the potential boost to her career. She has a loving boyfriend and a cordial, supportive relationship with her parents. But as she delves further into the mystery of Molly’s death, she is forced to confront her own inadequacies, failures and the ever-increasing problems in her relationship. As you learn more about Lindy’s past, as well as Molly’s, Lindy becomes more relatable and human. This book was very well written, with a riveting, unique story.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
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