The Savant Of Chelsea by Suzanne Jenkins

savant

 

The blurb for this book made it sound like it was going to be all about a surgeon with a severe psychological issue, and how she interacted (or didn’t) with the outside world. The first half was great–it was dark, and scary, and heart rending; when she told her story in graphic and disturbing flashbacks of how she was abused as a child, I shook my head in disbelief. It was all downhill from there.

The fictitious surgeon in the novel is torn apart when her illegitimate baby is taken from her one day. The rest of her life is spent thinking about her and wanting to find her, but afraid to because of a threat her mother made to her. After her mother dies, she goes back to her native Louisiana and tries to find closure.

From that point on, the book deteriorated into an obsession with children and a hard to believe personality change. In the beginning, this woman didn’t speak to anyone and was unable to dress herself or interact normally…she had assistants take care of things for her. She was driven to the hospital by a car service, did surgery like an automaton, and then spent her free time jogging on the streets of NYC to keep her demons at bay. After she returned to her native state of Louisiana, and certain events occurred (can’t tell you without spoilers), she essentially became a normal person. Vey hard to believe.

The story then takes on a ridiculous twist, and the ending is abrupt and eye-rollingly impossible. Well, I suppose it’s possible, but highly unlikely in the real world.

Suzanne Jenkins touts the book’s ending as something that will galvanize the reader, either it will make you think, or not. Personally, I thought the book could have been shorter, especially all the stuff that took place after her mother died, and I was highly unsatisfied how the character of the surgeon changed from an unstable and fascinating person to a boring, seemingly “cured” normal functioning woman. It seemed as if there were two books with different people melded together. The premise was so brilliant, and the story was such a waste once the plot took that turn for the worst.

You can pick up a copy here. Please, tell me what you think. And if you haven’t done it already, download the Kindle reading app.

 

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