Therapy, A Novel

Continuing with another win from Goodreads…

Therapy, A Novel, by Harrie Rose, is told by Barbara, a woman who is recounting her past, focusing mainly on therapy sessions she had when she was in her early 50s. The novel opens with Barbara’s husband, Joe, finally noticing that she doesn’t get out of bed at all, insisting she seek help. And find help she does, in the attractive form of Alex, her therapist.

Attracted to him from the beginning, Barbara recounts tales of her horrid childhood, her two failed marriages, (including her current one), and yet also shows Alex and the reader that she is a nice, caring person. She also plots how to seduce him, daydreaming about him constantly, including having imaginary conversations with him. Afraid she is misinterpreting the way he looks at her and the way compliments her, she is apprehensive about making the first move. But being in love with him, as she feels, is all the cure for her depression she needs. And her therapy sessions also make her reevaluate the way she views herself and the behavior of her parents, her husbands, and her sons, paving the way for her to heal and become a self-loving person, too.

Eventually, Alex and Barbara begin their affair. Barbara believes that this is the happiest time of her life. She actually has someone who loves her, who listens to her and actually cares about her feelings. Alex shows a bit of cowardice as he is constantly worried they will be found out and he will lose his license. But it isn’t really enough to deter him until they run into his business partner at a hotel where they had gone to spend the weekend. He ends things with Barbara then and there, never to be heard from again, regardless of her begging and pleading. But by that time, Barbara had already learned that she is worthy of love and life, and that she is not dependent on someone else.

Happily divorced, she renovates an old house and revels in the garden the plans. Her life is full of friends, her sons and their families, and even a few male friends. She occasionally wonders where Alex might be and who he is with, but is over him, having found contentment and happiness elsewhere.

I really enjoyed this story and learning how Barbara finally came into her own. My one complaint, and it’s a big one, was the massive amount of editing that was, apparently, never done. Typos, as well as wrong words or missing words, prevailed. There was literally something on almost every page that needed to be fixed. Originally, I easily overlooked this, believing that the copy I had was just an ARC, and an ARC of a self-published novel at that. However, upon further research, I believe I actually received a final draft. Very disappointing, as this book had much potential.