This was a very interesting look into the world of the mentally ill. Its starts out by giving us a look into the life of Iona. Her family put her into the Willard Hospital when she was just 15 years old in 1915. The horror stories she tells while she is an patient can really make you think. Once it gets bad enough her and another patient flee for their lives. Iona is not crazy to the point she cannot function she just has imaginary friends, she is delusional.
Once she escapes she leads an almost normal life with her husband James and even has 3 children. She does have a few psychotic breaks during her life but with her husband and great friends she leads a great life.
In Part 2 of the book we are introduced to her great grand daughter who is 12 and is diagnosed with schizophrenia. We not only see how the family deals with mental illness in todays day and age but also how the treatments have changed from over the years.
The 1st part of the book about Iona is written in first person by Iona. The second part is Iona's Grand Daughter Shirley's account of her grand daughter Jenna's journey through the system.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when Shirley finds out that after the Willard Hospital was closed someone found a room full of suitcases brought in by the patients that were stored in an attic and forgotten. The suitcases were taken and put on display in museums and taken on tours. She finds out Iona's suitcase is among them. When she goes to the main museum to actually see the suitcase you can just feel the emotion rolling off the page.
I usually do not take this long to read a book but I had it on my phone and read it while in waiting rooms for appointments and things like that. It is a relatively short book though, but very interesting.