“I wanted to tell a story about adolescents who knew what they were doing and why.” Elaine Sommers Rich gives this as a reason for having written this book.
Along with Esther Miller, a Voluntary Service unit member, Rich takes us onto the receiving ward of a state mental hospital in the summer of 1948 following her freshman year in college. The charge attendant on Esther’s ward has a “treat ’em rough” attitude toward the mentally ill, an attitude which immediately poses serious problems for Esther. Her emotional life is further complicated when she becomes infatuated with tall, blond Philip Landis “from the East.” One of Esther’s dreams comes true when she gets to set up an art project for patients as part of a therapy program initiated by the VS unit.
Christian idealists will like this story of a young girl’s love affair with life.