In Birds Nest Soup Hanna Greally recounts with vivid detail the terrible suffering she endured in a psychiatric hospital in the Irish Midlands in the 1940s and 50s. "Mentally well, but unclaimed" sums up her horrendous situation for the best part of twenty years. What she anticipated as a short rest in the 'Big House' was repeatedly prolonged as it became clear that after her mother's unexpected death none of her relatives had any intention of applying for her release. She survived this Kafka-esque situation emotionally and physically whole, and when a more enlightened system was introduced, she regained her freedom through a rehabilitation institute in 1962.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a sad story, the story of a woman who was left in an asylum after having a minor break-down because first her mother didn't want to have to deal with her and then later her brother didn't want to have to deal with her. Not that when she did leave that she didn't make a life for herself. It's infuriating and terribly sad a story that has the phrase "a few years passed" interspersed with a story of sanity within an insane environ.I'm glad that things have changed but these people, mostly women, were badly injured by assumption and ignorance. This was a sane woman who received Electro-shock therapy because no-one questioned the sanity of that act.