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The Purgatorium

The Purgatorium - Eva Pohler

I know that I’m in the minority for disliking this novel, but I had a hard time getting through it. There are just too many problems for me to overlook.

Daphne believes that she is going on vacation with her best friend, but when she gets to the island, she discovers that she has been tricked into going to a therapeutic resort for people with mental health issues. She is forced to participate in “games” that confuse and terrify her.

The plot is fast-paced, and the descriptions of the island are beautiful, but the writing is mostly lackluster, and the story isn’t believable. The way that mental illness is depicted isn’t realistic. The “games” are all silly, cruel, or both. I couldn’t understand why Daphne continued to go along with them, especially at the end of the book. Over the course of the novel, everyone she loves lies to her. She’s put in physical danger many times. Her body is altered without her consent. She’s even tricked into committing animal abuse. Why isn’t she angry about this?

I also had a hard time with the number of underdeveloped secondary characters. They were all just names to me. I kept having to flip back through the pages to remind myself who they are.

The premise of this book is intriguing, but the story fell flat for me.