Walls of Silence

A novel by Ruth Wade

The village of Fletching has changed little over the centuries and Edith Potter fears her life will be reduced to the same level of crushing predictability. Her father’s death at the hands of an intruder should have been a merciful release – Dr Potter’s from dementia, Edith’s from her stultifying role as his carer – except, a year on, she finds her existence continues to drain her spirit.

It all changes when a series of events conspire to send her mind spiralling into catatonic withdrawal. But it is 1926 and from the study and treatment of Great War shell-shock victims has emerged the new science of psychoanalysis. From his first meeting with her in the lunatic asylum, Dr Stephen Maynard is determined to bring her back to reality. During the long challenge her disturbed behaviour forces him to confront his limitations – already severely stretched by the presence of someone equally determined Edith maintain her silence. It is a triangular struggle that will last to the bitter end.

The patient has a story that isn’t told and which no one knows of. It is the secret, the rock against which he is shattered. Carl Jung

For the background to this book and what went into the crafting of a psychosocial novel about the nature of madness, please visit my Research page.

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