Ratings: 3 out of 5 Stars..!! 🙂
What the Book is about!!
“Opening Gates” by Nancy King is a story about a simple 19 years old girl, Rennie Weinstein, who needs a summer job which can pay enough to get her through senior year of college. She applies for many places and finally gets a job at Concordia Mental Hospital in Queens as a Summer Recreational Therapist. The Only reason she took this job was because it paid $60 a week, highest paying job available. At least, that is what she told herself!!
The hospital is a home to 6,000 patients and her job description mainly suggests her take some of the women residents out to play, not to lose anyone, return them back to their wards and then go home. Experience is not required and no training is offered. Having no prior experience in dealing with mentally ill people how will she survive? What will this job give her? And what it will take away? How this job and the people in the hospital affect her and her personal relationships?
Even after being told by almost everyone at the hospital, not to get attached to the people or the job, will she be able to stop herself?
The people she meets during her time at the hospital- Bruce, Yanni, the three construction workers and most importantly the patients. Will she be able to trust them? Will they be able to trust her?
When I started reading, I was not really getting attached to it. I took me a lot of effort to continue reading. But after 20 or so pages, the book started to feel good. The plot came together nicely. The dialogue and writing are very engrossing. The author has very beautifully written the narration in the first person by Rennie. This gives you an insight into what she is feeling at each point in time.
As Rennie is not a doctor and does not know anything about the conditions of the women, she helps the readers to see all the patients with compassion and understanding. She makes them seem as people rather than patients. It is a book which will make you cry, but at the same time laugh out loud.
The issue with the book was that it was not complete. I felt a bit unsatisfied. The book finishes abruptly, the characters are left out in the middle. The people she meets at the hospital and her feelings for them have not be justified. Her relationship with Yanni and Bruce was left in the middle. There are a lot more questions that were left unanswered, because of which I would give Opening gates by Nancy King a 3 out of 5 stars..!!!
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