Sunnybrook: A True Story with Lies

Patty Osborne

The inviting cover and unique layout of Sunnybrook: A True Story with Lies by Persimmon Blackbridge drew me in and kept me there. The story starts when Diane gets a job at the Sunnybrook Institution for the Mentally Handicapped by saying she had worked at a child guidance clinic. Actually she had been a patient there but, as she says in a little sidebar, "I knew the jargon and I knew the routines, so what the hell."

Diane really wants to keep this job so she does what she's told and tries to impress the head psychiatrist. When it gets to be too much, she locks herself in the staff washroom where she sits and stares, sits and cries, or sits and reads Honeymoon for Nurse Holly.

Sunnybrook is a simple story of a young woman's awakening, complete with illustrations by the author and others, and pithy marginalia (with arrows pointing back at the main story) that let us see that Diane is not as much like Nurse Holly as the main text would have us believe. This book is a pleasure to look at, to hold, to read, and to reread.

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