Dr. Maxwell Stein, a seasoned child psychologist practicing in New York, is about to head off on vacation, when the past comes back to haunt him. A visit by a former patient, now a mysterious adult, takes him by surprise to deliver a priceless gift. Her simple message, sets the wheels of his conscious and subconscious mind in motion till he is on the verge of derailing. His family, concerned and frightened by his changing attitudes, feels helpless. Is Max bordering on insanity or is there still hope?
My Favourite Quotes:
“He held me tight, close to his chest. I could feel our hearts pounding in sequence.”
“Suddenly the last diary entry he had read invaded his mind, about the issue of being believed and validated. This resonated with his inner core. A memory that had been suppressed for so long.”
“The stigma of mental illness would have changed her life forever. Max concluded that she had been smart. The diary had been her chance to confide in him without prejudice or fear of the consequences.” (There is more to this quote I wanted to add but I did not want to be a plot spoiler!)
“One day maybe, but not today. I learned something valuable from this dark encounter, namely that tragedy can strike anyone, leaving a painful impression not just in a loved one’s heart, but also on earth.”
“Her cries pierced my soul. I was overwhelmed with a sense of grief which I did not yet comprehend.”
*** I could have provided sooooooo many more quotes literary lovelies. But I am stopping myself at five. ***
Phew, dear readers!
This novella really packed a punch. At just over a hundred pages, Vestige by Monique Gliozzi knows how to grip the reader within its pages. It was the perfect book to pull me out of my reading slump.
Gliozzi knows just how to provide the perfect literary breadcrumbs for the reader to follow and succumb to the story. From the opening quote to the prologue the reader is instantly hooked.
I love diary entries in books and Vestige is able to weave between the main character Dr. Max Stein and the words of his former female patient Olivia. There is an instant intimacy found within Olivia’s entries which I found consuming.
Having struggled with my own mental health in my youth I was really impacted by the perspective of Olivia looking back to her childhood and how in adulthood she was able to make connections and perceptions which had alluded her at such a young age. And more importantly how those connections and perceptions imprint themselves on Dr. Stein’s present.
The melding of patient and psychiatrist through the memories of their individual pasts as well as of the brief time they spent together became a tangled web I couldn’t find myself being released from. I feel as though I have yet to be set free from the story.
Finally, I think what makes this story even more insightful and enticing is how the author Monique Gliozzi is a psychiatrist herself. Her abilities and experience translated so authentically to the page making me as a reader wonder what she herself might have experienced…
I heart Vestige this much: