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Mon Jan 16, 2012, 04:17 PM

The Mill River Recluse

Has anyone else read it and what did you think of it?

I don't want to take anything away from those who enjoyed it but I found the book disturbing. A teenage girl is raped and develops extreme anxiety disorder and eventually agoraphobia. A priest, at the request of her grandfather-in-law, befriends the woman and carries out errands for her. Nowhere in the book does anyone try to get the woman help for her agoraphobia but instead enable her to be reclusive by even delivering groceries and leaving them on her doorstep so she doesn't have to interact with them. This is all shown as an act of kindness.

Agoraphobia and anxiety disorder can be treated quite successfully and I just felt the book sent a bad message. Mary (the agoraphobic woman) feels she is part of the community because the priest tells her about the members of the community and Mary has him buy presents and give money to people in need. It seems rather delusional to think you are a real part of a community you never personally interest with.

But what if Mary had been poor? Would she still have been enabled so readily? Would she still have been a heroine in the eyes of the reader were it not for the money she could give to the community?

Maybe my perception is skewed because of the people I know who fought so hard to overcome anxiety disorder, depression and even agoraphobia. I find it hard to think of The Mill River Recluse as a "feel good" story as so many people have described it.



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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Mill River Recluse (Original post)
ohheckyeah Jan 2012 OP
Laurian Jan 2012 #1
ohheckyeah Jan 2012 #2
Laurian Jan 2012 #3
fadedrose Jan 2012 #4
ohheckyeah Jan 2012 #5
mainer Jan 2012 #6
seabeyond Jan 2012 #7
ohheckyeah Jan 2012 #8
seabeyond Jan 2012 #9
ohheckyeah Jan 2012 #10
seabeyond Jan 2012 #11

Response to ohheckyeah (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 07:29 PM

1. I have read The Mill River Recluse

It was available through iBooks for 99 cents, so I thought it was worth a try. The traumas that led to Mary's reclusiveness occurred in a rural area during the early 1940's. Based on the setting of the story and her lack of immediate family, it didn't seem unusual for her behavior to be viewed by the town as simply eccentric. While such a situation today would likely result in a diagnosis and intervention, I don't doubt that people of means with similar circumstances could (and probably do) manage to live reclusive lives and resist the pressure to seek help. My recollection is that the priest did try to draw Mary out of the mansion and into the community, but the experiences were such failures that they reinforced her determination remain in isolation.



I think this novel is only available in electronic form, no printed version. I found that interesting.

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Response to Laurian (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 11:07 PM

2. At one point in the story

a cop (I believe) had a cell phone so part of it was more present day. I guess my owner experience just makes it incomprehensible to me that someone would just live as a recluse instead of seeking help.

It was a self-published book which is why it's only available in electronic form. From what I read it got turned down by a number of publishers.

Did you like the story?

Oh, and thanks for the reply.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 09:17 AM

3. Good Morning

The book began at the time of Mary's death (present day) and went back over her life in retrospect to detail the experiences that led to her solitude. I'm old enough to remember people where I grew up who were simply accepted as eccentric or different but would probably be recognized as having treatable conditions today, so the community's acceptance of Mary's lifestyle was not startling to me.

The book held my attention while I was reading it, but it doesn't stand out as one I'll remember as a favorite.

Reading has become a form of escapism for me. I find today's world pretty stressful, so I tend to choose books that allow me to get away from real world problems. I favor female authors and have a special affinity for southern, female authors. As a transplanted yankee currently living in Georgia, I find the characters and settings developed by southern authors to be very interesting and informative. I occasionally read heavier material, but I have been attracted to lighter fare recently. Keeping up with current events and politics via DU and other progressive sites provides me with more than enough heavy duty, thought provoking reading material.



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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 10:33 AM

4. Welcome

Try Sharyn McCrumb - Tennessee mountains... not real mysteries, more mystifying I like to think.

Nevada Barr's okay too...

Try James D. Doss (all except for his first book) for some goofy southwestern mysteries.

My favorite site for mysteries is:

http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/index.html

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Response to fadedrose (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 12:07 PM

5. I've read Sharyn McCrumb

Last edited Mon Sep 30, 2013, 02:26 PM - Edit history (1)

and actually met her, had lunch with her and had a book signing event for her at work. She's an interesting individual that I liked a lot.

I think I read all of her books which we carried in our bookstore.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 03:11 PM

6. You might find this article about the author interesting

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Response to ohheckyeah (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 08:10 AM

7. i have it. i havent read it yet. is it worth the read? i have so many books to read

Last edited Mon Jan 30, 2012, 01:51 PM - Edit history (1)

and so little time, lol.

interesting review. thanks.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 01:47 PM

8. You're welcome.

I didn't like the book at all and only finished it because I started it. In fairness the writing itself wasn't terrible it's just the whole premise of the story and the characters annoyed me.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 01:52 PM

9. ahhh. lol, i am like that. a couple chapters in i will tell hubby,

this book is so bad.

delete it he says.

i cant. gotta finish.

why???

i just have to, lol

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 11:46 PM

10. Most often I'm that way.

I got a free book on my Kindle lately that I did just delete. It was so bad I don't even remember the name of it.....but it's very unusual for me not to finish a book I start.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 11:55 PM

11. ha ha. kindle, i have gotten some bad ones. nt

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