But Inside I'm Screaming
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But Inside I'm Screaming

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  1,832 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Isabel Murphy has it all, but when she freezes on air while reporting on the death of Princess Diana, it is clear her life is not as it appears to viewers. With the television network furious and knowing she's let everyone down, she attempts suicide and ends up in a psychiatric facility. With persistence, her therapists begin to help her examine the source of her pain and...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Mira (first published September 1st 2003)
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So this could have been a very interesting book. It had all the right elements and a main character that could have been compelling. But sadly it had no depth to it, and things were "told" instead of "shown."

Isabel breaks down on live television and as a result, heads home to commit suicide. She doesn't quite succeed though and finds herself transported to the mental institution of Three Breezes. Here she doesn't feel as if she belongs with the other patients. She doesn't think she's quite craz...more
I thought this book was so annoying. Seriously, how many times do you need to say "adirondack chair"... I mean, is the type of chair you sit and smoke in THAT important? No. I get it. You sit in adirondack chairs. Also, it was so unoriginal. Think a crappy and way less interesting version of "Girl, Interrupted" (or any similar 'I'm in the psych ward but I shouldn't be' book). I was bored and unimpressed.
I keep a couple of stacks of paperbacks piled up on my nightstand, which is actually a bookcase, for those "just in case" moments when I either don't have anything to read or don't like what I've been reading or just need a break from something heavier. This book was in that stack, or one of them, picked up quite awhile ago from a Friends of the Library sale cart. I pick things up for all kinds of reasons, the title, a review I've read, a recommendation from friends or goodreads, because I saw i...more
I'm a little disappointed in this book after having read "Me & Emma". Totally different stories I understand and very different subject matters. However, I just didn't get an overall feeling of "ahhhh, THAT was a good novel!" Nonetheless, I did finish it. Perhaps it was the fact that I've just finished reading "A Million Little Pieces" and hearing about and reading all the surrounding hoopla and controversy surrounding that book! Halfway through this book I quickly lost interest and thought...more
What i liked best about this novel about a woman who suffers a breakdown and is admitted to a psychiatric hospital is the difference between Isabel and the other patients. Isabel is suffering from severe depression, whereas most of the other patients are suffering from illnesses like manic depression/bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. So because of the other patients' bouts of mania, paranoia, etc, Isabel is completely indignant as to why she is among them as, compared to them, she feels 'normal...more
AJ LeBlanc
Meet Isabel: successful international broadcast journalist, loving wife, perfect daughter, suicidal human.

After freezing up on national television while trying to cover the breaking news of Princess Diana's car crash, Isabel finds herself at Three Breezes, a top of the line psychiatric hospital. She has no idea why she's there. Maybe it's the two suicide attempts? The meltdown on live TV? The point is, she isn't like any of those other patients who are seriously crazy. She just wants to be relea...more
Sean Whelan
Not sure how I came across this book but glad I did. TV personality suffers a breakdown whole covering princess Diana and we follow her story of treatment in a mental ward with many troubled people in with her. There remains such a stigma with mental illness and a book that sheds light on the issue is welcomed.
I guess I like stories with mental institutions. I really liked this one, shows how a person with a seemingly easy life can fall apart
Melissa Lee-tammeus
This kind of book is right up my alley as far as fiction is concerned. Seemingly together woman falls apart at her job, tries to take her own life, and ends up in a mental hospital. Think One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest from a woman's perspective with a bit more action on the side of therapy and much more modern. If you are interested in the role of the psyche and how we come back from difficult spaces, this is the book for you. A great look at the degrees of mental illness and the hope of worki...more
Pretty honest book! If you ever wondered what it might be like to be severely depressed, and I mean severely, this is a really good depiction. Some people may be put off by the italicized inner thoughts of Isabel, but I found it to be a pretty relatable attitude. While she is feeling like she doesn't belong there, in the inpatient hospital, she is critical of the other patients in really mean ways. When she gets better, she still has those thoughts, but her perspective is different and healthier...more
"But Inside I'm Screaming" is a great read for Mental Health Awareness Month (every May).

Protagonist Isabel Murphy is a successful newscaster for a major network. Her personal life, with a demanding mother, absent father and abusive husband, is a shambles. Her breakdown takes place on national television as she attempts to report on Princess Diana's death. She goes home from her failed broadcast, attempts suicide, and is committed to an inpatient mental hospital.

Isabel and her fellow patients ar...more
On the night Princess Diana is killed in a car accident in Paris, Isabel Murphy finds herself propelled onto live television, just waiting to make a statement to the public regarding Diana’s accident. However when the time comes for her to go live on-air, Isabel clams up and seems to break down. After trying to kill herself she voluntarily checks herself into a psychiatric hospital in the hopes of overcoming her breakdown. The question is: what drove Isabel to unravel live on television?

I’ve bee...more
Meet Isabel: successful international broadcast journalist, loving wife, perfect daughter, suicidal human.

After freezing up on national television while trying to cover the breaking news of Princess Diana's car crash, Isabel finds herself at Three Breezes, a top of the line psychiatric hospital. She has no idea why she's there. Maybe it's the two suicide attempts? The meltdown on live TV? The point is, she isn't like any of those other patients who are seriously crazy. She just wants to be rele...more
This book was a bit of a surprise for me. I wasn't sure I would like it, as the subject matter is a bit heavy. A network news anchor has a breakdown on live TV while reporting on the death of Princess Diana. She attempts suicide and ends up in an inpatient psychiatric treatment facility. Not exactly easy material. But the story moved very quickly. Isabel can't see that she has serious mental issues so she fights the treatment. Once she reaches the very depths of despair, her doctor suggests shoc...more
Rhonda Rae Baker
This was a great novel addressing the craziness that we sometimes get ourselves into, especially when we are prone to think of others only and not consider our own needs in life.

Something happen to a person that is entirely focused on pleasing others. I'm all too aware of this and could understand exactly what Ms. Flock was talking about. She portrayed her characters on-spot and I would have to agree with the symptoms and dialogue they shared with each other. Very interesting and enlightening as...more
What happened to Isabel? An upcoming news anchor with a bright future freezes on camera. Unable to bear the shame of her failure and ridicule of her colleagues, she takes a blade to her wrists.
She is saved; committed to a hospital, sharing a living space with people who don’t have it together. She doesn’t think she’s like them. She has dark thoughts, but she can control them. Can’t she?
What brought her here?
Readers may find this story weaker than that of Girl, Interrupted. In fact, the story se...more
Bel Vidal
Isabel is a high achieving, successful woman who falls pray to depression and ends up in a mental hospital after a very public breakdown (on live TV).
I am interested in this subject matter which is what motivated me to pick up this book. I know about depression. I have dealt with depression. I have written about depression. However, this book was too depressive even for me. There is no humour or lightness in it. Isabel was a very unsympathetic character, and she has very little sympathy or time...more
Susan O'Bryant
I was prepared to not like this book. I was afraid it would be simplified or cliched, or both; however, I was pleased to discover this novel was neither. Isabel, the heroine, says "People look at me and they see this happy face, but inside I'm screaming. It's just that no one hears me." Who hasn't felt like that from time to time? Most of us are just lucky enough to not spiral down into the mental health crisis that Isabel faced. While I write this review, I am having to restrain from referring...more
I found the author's descent from successful broadcast journalist to a suicidal patient in a mental hospital both interesting and alarming. The author intertwined clues and reasons for Isabel's illness throughout the book which offered just enough mystery to maintain my interest. I wanted to learn all the answers and reasons behind Isabel's illness. It seems the author provided reasons but also left the reader to form their own opinions. This was particularly true with the ending of the book. I...more
For me, this book didn't go far enough.

I have no doubt of the writer's skill, but I thought it really wasn't utilized in the best possible way. The premise was fascinating for me, and the first chapter horrifying in a could-this-happen-to-anyone, could-it-happen-to-me kind of way, but the book never really delivered on the promise.

Some plot points got short shrift, I thought -- the husband was manipulating and abusive, but those issues weren't resolved. And if his abuse was criminal in some way,...more
Book #103 Read in 2013
But Inside I'm Screaming by Elizabeth Flock

Isabel is a TV reporter. She has a melt down on air and then goes home and decides to kill herself. Her attempt is unsuccessful but her parents convince her to go to Three Breezes, a psychiatric hospital. There, Isabel meets many interesting people who have their own very serious issues. At first, Isabel thinks she has nothing in common with any of the other patients but as her recovery progresses, she realizes she is more like the...more
I held off on reading this for a while because I too suffered from panic attacks around the time I noticed this book. However, I could have read this much sooner because it doesn't really focus on the illness. As a matter of fact, it doesn't really focus on anything at all in particular. The jumps from the past to the present are confusing at times, and the book doesn't really follow a straight line when it comes to tracking Isabel's journey to wellness. Maybe this was intentional so that you fe...more
Oi. I SO wanted to enjoy this book when I started but I just didn't. It is abundantly clear to me that the author has spent little to no time actually INSIDE a mental insitution to see how things really happen. Having just completed a month in a state mental hospital (as a nursing student), I found myself rolling my eyes almost constantly while reading this. The author just flat out got things WRONG -- a great load of things. In fact, while this should be a fast read, I kept having to put it do...more
Mar 27, 2009 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
An unexpectedly quick read, yet it seemed quite bland and easy to me. I think the author could have delved into her illness and her treatment (including the electro-shock) much more. What I did like was the parts where she seemed to fold into herself, to not speak and not notice her surroundings. These seemed to be the only parts (beyond her suicide attempts) where you saw that she had a problem. I also liked the way it flashed bits of her life and how her problems all began in between chapters...more
Isabel is a broadcast journalist who suffers a major panic attack on national television while attempting to break the news of Princess Diana's death. The book opens with this event, continuing on to her commitment into a mental institution, but the author does a skillful job of weaving in past events to help the reader understand how Isabel has gotten to this point. However, there were times that I felt the action slowed down just a little too much, that Isabel was a bit too withdrawn when her...more
Isabel Murphy is finally overcome by her falling-down life while covering a live event as a reporter, and decides to check herself into Three Breezes, a mental health facility. In flashbacks, we are told of her prior experiences with an absent father and two abusive partners. While I've not (yet!) had any experience with a breakdown or such a facility, it seemed like the representation of her experiences there rang true. My only criticism of this novel was that it seemed a bit meandering, like i...more
I read this book in one day. I picked it up thinking it would be an easy read. I was both right and wrong about that. It was a fast read that was hard to put down but was also quite a deep read. The story follows Isabel at the top of her career when she has a mental breakdown in a very public way. We learn all of her insecurities and get to learn about a handful of people she meets in a psychiatric hospital. We get to follow her from her deepest depression and them her slow journey back to menta...more
Patrice Sartor
Isabel was a workaholic TV news reporter who had a mental breakdown and then committed herself to a mental institution. We follow her journey both at the hospital and in flashbacks of her former life, until at the end when the two connect. The portrayal of a woman who needs mental help but cannot fully reconcile herself as having the *really* crazy innmates as her peers seems realistic and authentic. None of the characters especially resonated with me, though I think Flock has talent as a writer...more
Edwina Hall Callan
This book had a hard time holding my attention. I would read 2 or 3 chapters then lay it aside for days. I think there was too much jumping back and forth between the past and the present.
I do think it would make a good movie though and I love the title, I think a lot of us are screaming inside.
It would have been simply mediocre, but I was bothered by the undercurrent of homophobia. Isn't it enough to try to tell the story of several crazy women at once? Does the supposedly-sympathetic protag also have to be strangely anti-lesbian?

(Note: crazy used here to denote the wide range from not-coping-well to chemically-far-out. Also to connote that I found the hamfisted (view spoiler)...more
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Former print journalist Elizabeth Flock reported for TIME and PEOPLE magazines before becoming an on-air correspondent for CBS News. Her acclaimed debut novel, BUT INSIDE I'M SCREAMING, chronically the psychological struggles of a young television reporter in New York, was released in 2003. Her second novel, ME & EMMA, became a New York Times bestseller and was an Indiebound (formerly Booksen...more
More about Elizabeth Flock...
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“You tell yourself to someone and they steal your soul. That's why I don't talk to anybody.” 26 likes
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