Sally Tarbox's Reviews > The Shutter of Snow

The Shutter of Snow by Emily Holmes Coleman
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Dec 27, 11

bookshelves: mental-illness, virago, american-literature
Read from December 22 to 26, 2011

Set in an American mental hospital in the 20s, this is the story of a young woman suffering a bout of insanity following the birth of her child. Written in the 3rd person yet simultaneously as if by the woman herself, it tells of everyday life -interchanges with the staff and inmates, activities in the hospital- plus in paragraphs of poetic prose takes us inside the mind of Marthe.
The title refers both to the snow that features throughout as Marthe looks out onto the world; and of course to the state of her mind. A brilliant attempt to describe mental illness; Coleman was prompted to write this following her own time inside such a hospital.
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