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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne…

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1964)

by Joanne Greenberg

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (25)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
An interesting book, and quite good. However it's definitely a product of its time. I dislike the implications that mental illness can be caused by an individual or hir parents, and that it is only a matter of willpower to overcome it. ( )
1 vote lemontwist | Jul 31, 2014 |
A moving, thought-provoking and inspiring account of a young girl's struggle with schizophrenia.

Following a suicide attempt, Debra, aged just 16, is committed to a mental hospital. Over the next three years she works with her psychiatrist to understand her illness and explores the possibility of mental health. Her precarious progress is punctuated by periods where she falls back into the terror of her illness.

I first read this book as a healthy twenty year old with high hopes for my future, and found it compelling, but strange. Ten years later I found a copy in a second hand bookshop, and re-read it, this time from the viewpoint of a former psychiatric patient with four hospital stays in my not-too-distant past and an uncertainty over my future. Now, I read this book for comfort, hope and above all to remind myself that while psychiatry and the treatment of mental illness may have moved on, the road to recovery from mental illness still follows the same pattern of two steps forward, one step back. Like Debra, my defence mechanism is to retreat into the familiar symptoms of my depression. Reading this book has helped me to recognise this pattern, and gave me renewed hope that there is a world outside my illness - even if it is not a rose garden! ( )
2 vote VictoriaLouiseHill | Nov 7, 2013 |
"I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" is a book about a late-teenage girl who is put in a mental hospital and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Torn between a vivid and alluring, albeit dangerous, world of her mind's own making and reality, the protagonist struggles to regain her sanity throughout the novel. Greenberg writes her characters into existence with sensitivity and attention to detail, allowing readers to form close bonds with the characters. I read this book when I was about 15 and it has stuck with me for the same reasons I think it will resonate with future students: the protagonist is alienated from her peers and family by her illness, she questions herself, her sanity, and the world around her, and it allows one to better understand the horrors of being trapped in a world that is unpredictable and sometimes dangerous. This is not a book with a happy ending; this is not a feel-good read. This is a thought provoking chronicle of a young, innocent, girl just trying to figure out which way is up, and which is down. Though not everybody has a mental illness such as this, the protagonist's struggle to find herself and calm her mind is theme that everybody can relate to, even long after adolescence.
  ColinJK | Oct 29, 2013 |
I read this over forty years ago, but it made a lasting impression. The imaginary world that Deborah creates is vivid and its allure is understandable. I learned that being sane doesn't mean that you can't be cruel. I remember a story in the book about a patient who gave the psychiatrist a knife because she felt the doctor needed it more. The book made me a fan of Joanne Greenberg, although I recollect that she was called Hannah Green back then. This paperback version from 1989 puts Hannah in parentheses on the title page.

I remember a college friend telling me how much he identified with the main character. I also remember a short story by Zenna Henderson, I think, in which a woman is sent home cured from a mental institution only to realize that the world is an empty, scary place without the structure and sense of fullness that her compulsions give her and she re-embraces them. ( )
1 vote raizel | Jun 20, 2013 |
recommended for: those interested in mental illness and adolescents, those who enjoy a good novel

I first read this in 1966 when I was 13 and in the 8th grade and it became my favorite book and remained my favorite book throughout high school. I reread it many times, although it's been years since my last reading.

This is a story of a young woman ages 16-19 who is suffering from severe mental illness (in the book she is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia) in a mental hospital.

My understanding is that this book is based on a true story and the hospital was Chestnut Lodge and the psychiatrist was Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. Reading it now, it seems as though the main character, Deborah, was probably actually suffering from major depression with psychosis and not schizophrenia at all – but that hardly matters.

It’s a good story about making an effort, one's ability to change, hope, and friendship, and it’s written with a lot of empathy for all of the characters.

And I admit that I so identified with Deborah that I didn't even absorb that fact of her psychosis; I took the descriptions as metaphor. ( )
2 vote Lisa2013 | Apr 12, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joanne Greenbergprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bull, ToneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ringnes, HaagenAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swildens, ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mothers
First words
They rode through the lush farm country in the middle of autumn, through quaint old towns whose streets showed the brilliant colors of turning trees.
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Deborah lachte. "Ärzte! Verbringen Sie ein herrliches Jahr mit Reisen in fremde Länder! Besuchen Sie Ihr Irrenhaus als Patient!"
Carla lachte. "Reisen Sie ohne Ihr Prestige, Ihre bürgerlichen Rechte oder Ihre Selbstachtung! Erschauern Sie vor dem verlogenen Schön-Schön, wenn Sie auf der anderen Seite des Zauns stehen!"
(Kapitel 23)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Het paradijs dat niet beloofd werd, is de wereld waarin dokter Fried haar patiënte, Deborah Blau, hoo;" terug te brengen.
Hannah Green poogt in dit boek ek schizofrenie. altijd beschouwd als eer der ergste vormen van w.rmzi.;. begrijpelijk te maken.
Zij beschrijft het uiterst moeizame gevecht van Deborah tussen de gewone wereld en liet 'koninkrijk V R'. ELH koninkrijk waar je je kunt koesteren. YR is behalve een prettige poëtisch» wereld ook een wereld met gruwelijke tegels, een eigen tijdrckcning ^r. een eigen taal.
Drie jaar duurt de strijd van dokter Fried tegen de heersers van YR. Dar. zegeviert in het meisje Deborah de vrije wil om 10 breken niet dt machten uit haar waanwereld en wordt zij weer baa-over zichzelf.
Deze unieke beschrijving van dit schizofrene meisje heeft in korte tijd talloze mensen geboeid. Een onthullend boek over de geesteszieke mens. Dit verhelderende boek werd verfilmd niet Bibi Andersson en Kathleen Quinlan in de hoofdrollen.
Hannah Green (1932), pseudoniem van Joanne Greenberg, woont hoog in de Rocky Mountains in een huis, dat zij zelf boitwdi samen met haar man. In haar jeugd leed z: zelf aan een ernstige, geestesziekte, en alleer, dank zij haar enorme doorzettingsvermogen en de goede begeleiding van haar psythiairi vocht zij zich door deze periode heen. Ik heb j e nooit een Rozentuin beloutd ï. een neerslag van haar eigen ervaringet; tijdens haar ziekte. In al haar boeken kom: haar begrip tot uiting voor minderheden. 'abnormalen', mensen die in hun gedrag en opvattingen aj'wijken van wat wij als normaal beschouwen.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451160312, Mass Market Paperback)

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden is the story of a sixteen-year-old who retreats from reality into the bondage of a lushly imagined but threatening kingdom, and her slow and painful journey back to sanity.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:59 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Chronicles the three-year battle of a mentally ill, but perceptive, teenage girl against a world of her own creation, emphasizing her relationship with the doctor who gave her the ammunition of self- understanding with which to destroy that world of fantasy.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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