A Sickness in the Family
The traditional Easter holiday in the mountains comes to an abrupt halt when the family has to drive home to commit the oldest daughter to hospital. The hospital section she ends up in is for adults. All the others in her room are women. One of them eats dinner in the middle of the night. On a wall in his office, her doctor has put up postcards from former patient, sent from warmer countries.The girl thinks about a poem they have read in school, “The First Butterfly”, imagining the poet, dying in his bed, asking himself why he has to die when he doesn’t want to.
Many years later she goes back to the hospital to look for the building where she lived, the tree she could see through her window, and the little park she wasn’t allowed to go to.
A Sickness in the Family is a penetrating report from the life of a young person written in biting, precise and vulnerable prose. Is is possible to go on living? Will she ever experience freedom?