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Oct 28, 2013

Review: The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts _Madness Ensued

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  2:03 PM

Series:     N 
Genre:     Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Faction
Based On A True Story Anne wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. Slowly, she realizes she is in a lunatic asylum. 1885. Anne Stanbury - Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems? Edgar Stanbury - the grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity, and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life. Dr George Savage - the well respected psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne's future wholly in his hands. The Medea Complex tells the story of a misunderstood woman suffering from insanity in an era when mental illnesses' were all too often misdiagnosed andmistreated. A deep and riveting psychological thriller set within an historical context, packed full of twists and turns, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.This burb was taken from the book's website.

I am reviewing an ARC that I assume is still under review and therefore will not address gaps which have been pointed out by critique partners at but did not affect me as a reader. 
My opinion is that this is a compelling, gripping debut.
 It is beautifully written, harrowing, sharply imagined and even though it is about a mental asylum at a time I refer to as the dark ages in mental care, it was not in the least bit depressing and not completely dark. 
One could easily become dispirited and melancholy at thought s of hydrotherapy treatments which make me think of waterboarding and all sorts of other nasty “solutions” of the day but the way Rachel handles these issues they do not have this effect at all.
I think what impresses me most is the level of expertise Rachel shows in her writing. She has certainly set the bar for many would be writers who come across her work me included. 
I can imagine how much time and effort has gone into research alone and it’s not just the content that is a lesson but the amount credibility that comes through about writer’s knowledge of her chosen subject and genre and thinking of the time. 
Medea Complex has well developed and diverse characters who, together with the surprising twists and turns presented by events, create a rich and fulfilling story. 
I have been very lucky in the last few weeks to have had review requests from authors who have strong story lines, stories that flow and never lull, characters to match and who are unapologetic about the stories they right and where they take us. Rachel has only added to my beautiful ride. I think this is a one the best seller lists must watch out for because this is a writer with a promise of being a major contributor to literature.
There were one or two sentences where I felt the wording veered of the period but these were very minor errors.
The Medea Complex does not come to a fair conclusion; this is not a feel good book. It challenges our views about how we think things should end and how life should work but accurately demonstrates how it more often than not turns out.  Therefore this is my very long winded way of saying to give critique this book in a negative way because of this aspect would be to seek to change the story and this is not the intention of the review. This book is upsetting and perfect, just as t is.

Yes, this is a book to buy, I very strongly recommend you do this when it comes out and I hope Rachel will keep us informed. As a writer, if you get this book, I think you will appreciate all the nuances representing the writing craft in it. 
I also strongly recommend that you have a glass of something close by to come your nerves throughout.


  • You can also get your copy at my online book store: Fabulosity Shops Online
  • Book source: I got bought this book. There was no review request by the author.
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About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


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