This is one of most favourite books that fall into the category of Edgy Christian Fiction and it was what started me to have now a love affair with Edgy Christian Fiction. Finding Alice focuses on the Mental Illness of Schizophrenia.
Review: Finding Alice - Melody Carlson-2003
A chilling and compelling novel which shows us how schizophrenia can destroy and turn a person's life upside down within just a few days.
Alice is your normal perspective of a Christian girl brought up under the influence of the Salvation Centre and studying English Literature at University.
Several weeks into in her senior life her life starts tumbling down, she starts to experience seeing things and hearing voices.
Melody Carlson has called the book Finding Alice as in to accordance with the well-known classic Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
As every chapter passes we take a step in Alice's life as with every experience she takes on her schizophrenic journey , Melody finds a way to relate for example Alice finds two guys along her way who turn out to be Gay , homeless dudes and she nicknames them Tweedledum and Tweedledee .
We then go along her journey where she discovers who are her real friends and the difference between reality and her schizophrenic world and comes to grips with her reality that the world is not filled with horrible, nasty people who are out to get her and destroy her but really nice, lovely wonderful people who want to go out of their way to help Alice.
This book also focuses on the Christian perspective of schizophrenia which will probably cause a rift between religions depending on what you believe as in this novel you will be kept guessing till the end on what the two churches, Alice's Salvation Centre or her Friends Church, The Golden Gate.
A book about important, disturbing and too often dismissed subject - horrors of mental illness and, sad to say, abuses mentally ill people meet in the hands of "sane" persons. Unfortunately "tolerance" is nowadays often mistaken as cesspool where everything goes, not compassion, understanding and sympathising people with health problems. Unfortunately all this made reading of the book very difficult, even with light in the ending.
This was one of the hardest and most impacting books that I have ever read. It was a definite eye opener with a subject you don't hear much about. I cannot even imagine what I would do if I was in Alice's situation. It would be a daily struggle to survive every day. Frankly it was quite scary to read about Alice's schizophrenia and what it did to her. The voices inside her head almost drove her to kill herself because they made her doubt everything and everyone. It was really frightening to think about how many people have to suffer from this every day and even if they get help, still have to deal with it for the rest of their lives. The worst part, for Alice, is how her church (which to me seemed more like a cult) completely shunned her and banished her because they believed her mental illness to be a demon. I really appreciated how the author handles this, showing the reader that while there are Christians who do understand and will help you out, there is also a darker side that won't acknowledge this situation. It's painful yet refreshing to show how there are severely flawed Christians who need to be taught not to be judgmental or walking around with planks in their eyes. I'm glad though that there was a glimmer of hope for her and that she was able to cope with her mental illness. I really love how Melody Carlson writes about subjects that many Christians shy away from and don't want to talk about. She writes these books with such conviction and grittiness because these are topics that we shouldn't avoid. This is edgy fiction at it best and I believe that it rivals mainstream fiction. This is not just a Christian novel, this is a novel that EVERYONE should read to learn more about what mental illness is really like. If you want a book that will leave you impacted, pick this book up.
I have found a new favorite author! I absolutely love that Melody Carlson wrote a book about a subject that is so real and relevant to our culture. As a Christian and a case manager for a mental health agency i thoroughly enjoyed reading it because it gave insight to people who struggle with mental illness and exposed the raw severity of their symptoms. I was extremely impressed by the author's vast knowledge of schizophrenia. She could not have described the symptoms, the effects of decompensation from lack of medications, the appropriate medications used as mood stabilizers, the old methods of treatments vs new treatment any better than she did. I have always wanted to get in the mind of someone with psychosis to really understand what it is like when they have hallucinations or delusions and this could not have been more accurate, in my opinion. As a professional in the field, it showed me what a person really goes through when they are involuntarily committed and gave me a whole new perspective. Thank you Melody for being brave to write on such a taboo topic. As mental illness becomes more prevalent, it is my desire that the Church will not "stick their heads in the sand" anymore but that they will educate themselves appropriately in order to reach out to a population who desperately needs Jesus' saving grace and healing. I hope to see more books by this author on subjects considered taboo.
I have read many of Ms. Carlson's books and they are all amazing! This one is no exception. It is an amazing story from a point of view that isn't approached very often and she does a marvelous job at it! I highly recommend this book, especially to people interested in Psychology and schizophrenia.