Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” as Want to Read:
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

by
3.86  ·  Rating details ·  26,561 ratings  ·  836 reviews
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden is the story of a sixteen-year-old who retreats from reality into the bondage of a lushly imagined but threatening kingdom, and her slow and painful journey back to sanity.

Chronicles the three-year battle of a mentally ill, but perceptive, teenage girl against a world of her own creation, emphasizing her relationship with the doctor who g
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 7th 1989 by Signet (first published 1964)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Lisa Vegan
May 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in mental illness and adolescents, those who enjoy a good novel
I first read this in 1966 when I was 13 and in the 8th grade and it became my favorite book and remained my favorite book throughout high school. I reread it many times, although it's been years since my last reading.

This is a story of a young woman ages 16-19 who is suffering from severe mental illness (in the book she is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia) in a mental hospital.

My understanding is that this book is based on a true story and the hospital was Chestnut Lodge and the psychiatr
...more
Belle
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, favorites
To get below the surface of this book, one must invest himself/herself. This I was willing to do. As a fellow sufferer of mental illness, I long for memoirs of those who've gone through the same as me. It's easy to read a book without really getting it, and that's why the people in other reviews have given this book below five stars. They're quick to say it's boring, afraid of the cause the book gives for deep thinking, which they probably haven't been able to grasp. They're the ones who've neve ...more
Lee
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lee by: Lisa Vegan
This was a powerful and painful reading experience and not something I would have naturally gravitated to on my own. I chose to read this upon the recommendation of a friend and I'm very glad I did. I have no idea what the author's history is but she did a marvelous job at getting inside the head of a very disturbed girl who has been committed to a mental hospital. Reading this story reinforced my committment to never lie to my child. It brought back memories of my own teenage years and the lies ...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: recent
As someone who feels like they deal with mental illness on a daily basis, it was hard for me to enter the mind of someone with schizophrenia. I just couldn’t deal with the concept. It was well written but just not for me at this time.
Yakup
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tüm insanların tamamen sağlıklı olduklarına inanmadığımdan ve de günlük belirli boyutlarda psikolojik tramvalar yaşadıklarından, bu tarz eserler bazen bizim bir miktar iç dünyalarımızın yansıtırlar.Böylelikle Dr.Fried'ın Deborah'a söylediği ''Sana Gül Bahçesi Vadetmedim.'' cümlesi yerinde olmuştur.Ki biz buna benzer serzenişleri günlük yaşamımızda çok fazla söyleyip ve yahut duymuşuzdur.Aslında Doğa'da yanlızlığımız bize hatırlatılmakta, savaşın kendimizin savaşı olduğunu bilmemiz gerektiğini ve ...more
Arminzerella
When we meet Deborah, she’s on her way to a mental hospital. She’s two years short of finishing high school, and she’s recently been hospitalized for slitting her wrists. Her mother, at least, is aware that there’s something not quite right about Deborah, but she can’t really put her finger on what it is. A famous therapist agrees to work with Deborah to help her sort out her problems. Only pages into this novel, readers glimpse Deborah’s uniquely frightening psychological landscape – the land o ...more
Carol
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
What a beautifully written semi-autobiographical story of the struggle of a young girl attempting to refocus her energies on the real world, making the transition from being mentally ill and being mentally well, as well as the stigma placed on those who have psychiatric diagnoses. As someone with experience both as a mental health professional and a patient, I can see both perspectives. It is never easy to go from the safety of the hospital environment back into the world, where one must live a ...more
Sezgi
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okuduğum en başarılı psikoloji temelli kitaptı diyebilirim. Konu yeterince dikkat çekici ve anlatımıyla, vurgularıyla sizi hikayeye daha çok bağlıyor. Deborah ve arkadaşlarının gayet normal gelecek tavırlarına karşılık zihinlerinde olan olgular insanı hayrete düşürmeye yetiyor. Birçok mesajı içinde barındırıyor kitap. Hastalık ve hastanede geçen dönem bana biraz uzun gibi geliyordu okurken fakat sonuna yaklaştıkça tam ayarında olduğunu anladım. Umut veren bir kitap, aynı zamanda ürküten bir tara ...more
Rıdvan
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deli nedir, neye denir?
Biz deli miyiz?
Delirmek üzere olduğumuzu hissettiğimiz anlarda adlında gerçek deliliğe ne kadar yakınız?
İşte bütün bu soruların cevabı bu kitapta.
Bir deli kızımız var; Deborah. Zihninde apayrı, fantastik bir dünya var; Yr. Bu dünya ile bağlantı kurabilen tek ve yegane kişi de yine kendisi.
Yr isimli bu dünyanın kendine ait bir dili var. Ve bu dilide yine sular seller gibi konuşabiliyor Deborah. Hastalık öyle boyutlara varmış ki, kız yeni bir dil icat etmiş, Tolkien kılıkl
...more
Rachel
Jun 03, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a brilliant book and perhaps deserves more than three stars, but there are certainly problems, most having to do with our better understanding of schizophrenia in more recent times. As a historical document, the book powerfully represents a world in which large industrial-size mental hospitals were considered advanced, state-of-the-art facilities. Seclusion rooms and cold packs (trapping a patient in ice-cold sheets) were also considered constructive treatments, as was intensive psychoan ...more
Victoria Hill
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A moving, thought-provoking and inspiring account of a young girl's struggle with schizophrenia.

Following a suicide attempt, Debra, aged just 16, is committed to a mental hospital. Over the next three years she works with her psychiatrist to understand her illness and explores the possibility of mental health. Her precarious progress is punctuated by periods where she falls back into the terror of her illness.

I first read this book as a healthy twenty year old with high hopes for my future, an
...more
Nandakishore Varma
I read this book in my early twenties and don't remember much about it than its haunting descriptions of the fantasy world of the schizophrenic protagonist. It also resulted in my writing a novelette in Malayalam about a young, gifted woman in an unsatisfying marriage to a dull man, slowly going mad and into her fantasy world. (I lost the manuscript, which was just as well, because the story was totally derivative and cringe-worthy.)

Maybe if I read it again, my star rating would go up. In those
...more
Ova - Excuse My Reading
This was an incredibly difficult read. Beautifully written story of struggles of mental illness, I read this book in my early 20s and I am glad I did as it helped me develop an awareness of these type of issues. This is an upsetting book, although I am glad I read it.
Megan Fermo
First off, I'll ask you now, judging by the title what did YOU expect?

I wasn't expecting any action. No, not in the slightest. but that title...I don't know why but first time I read it ('twas during my mental illness literature phase)I was like, Wow, I'm definitely giving that a go.

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden...it's not a special title but there's a little something magnetic about it.

Here's the possible tale that ran through my mind. The protagonist (let's call her Anna), who is schizo
...more
Dad
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"[I like the] fine old word asylum that suggests a haven, a refuge, a place where hospitality and restfulness prevail." -George A Zeller MD, of Peoria State Hospital

Joanne Greenberg was hospitalized for schizophrenia from 1948 to 1951. She was lucky. This was before the introduction of the pharmaceuticals that are the sum total of psychiatry today. It was after the craze for lobotomies and shock treatments (can you believe they gave the Nobel Prize to the guy who invented lobotomies?) She was lu
...more
Joe
May 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crap
This is such a stupid book. I read it in high school and it was one of those books that was so bad I couldn't pry myself from it.

It's partly because I'd seen so much mental illness in my own family that gave me such a significant desire to see something somehow more substantial but this effort just feels entirely shallow to me. The therapist was just bad. I mean Bad. BAD. Horrible. What an unhelpful, cold BITCH. I mean, she is portrayed rather heroically but it's rare that I want to reach throu
...more
Grace
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for a Developmental Psychopathology class and ended up really enjoying it. The purpose of the assignment was to examine the state of the science on schizophrenia both at the time of publication (1964) and today, and the ways in which the public's views of schizophrenia may have been shaped through reading this novel.

Today as in the 1960s, mental illness carries a highly negative social stigma. Greenberg presents a humanized view of mental illness with a focus on the painful experien
...more
Laurelina
Apr 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book for an undergrad class assignment and I loved it. This book represents the real thoughts of a person diagnosed with Schizophrenia. What I've read is that the author of this book is actually the protagonist of the story. She was a 16 year old dianosed with this degenerative illness that affects the person as well as others around them. She was dianosed when the mere mention of this illness would cause confusion and guilt to parents who thought that somehow they were at fault for ...more
Laila
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bir akıl hastasının gözünden hayata bakabilmek...

Yazarının kendi yaşamından izler taşıyan bu kitabı okurken "deli" deyip geçtiklerimizin beynine, dünyasına misafir olma şansınız var!

Deborah... Umarım başarmışsındır.
Mona
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this too long ago to really review it properly.

I do remember it being a favorite book when I was young and troubled.
Jenny
I was surprised by this book. I knew that it was about a young girl with mental illness, but I didn't expect it to feel so real or myself to feel so connected to Deborah. I somehow forgot that the story was being told about Deborah rather than by her. Every time I remembered, it was jarring in a way. That's the skill of Greenberg because the reader inhabits Deborah's thoughts then is forced out of them when the narrative switches to Dr. Fried's point of view or to Jacob and Esther's point of vie ...more
Em Chainey (Bookowski)
Deborah, yeryüzü ile YR arasındaki kız.

Dünyanın saçmalığı ve YR'nin zorbalığı arasında sıkışıp kalmış şizofreni hastası Deborah.

Dünyasızlık mümkün değil, mümkün olsa eminim seçmek isterdik.

İnsanoğlu kendini dünyaya bağlıyor, bağlamak zorunda. Koptuğun zaman kayıpsın, ya da dünyalılara göre öyle işte.

Bu kitabı sevdim ama sanki anlatım yeterince iyi değil gibi geldi bana, sanki o "kopuşlar", paralel evren, yeni dünyaya giriş ve dünyamıza dönüş daha iyi anlatılabilirdi.

Yine de yazara saygı duyuyo
...more
Ebru
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Cehennemin eşiğine gelmiş kişilerin şeytandan ödü kopuyordu; zaten cehennemin içinde olanlar içinse şeytan özel biri değildi, yalnızca başka biriydi, o kadar."

"Benim hastalığım... ağzına kadar dolup taşmış bir bardak, senin küçücük damlan taşan kısmın içinde çoktan eriyip gitti"

"İnsan mahkum olacaksa, güzel olmalı, yoksa dram yalnızca komedi olur."

"Acı çekmenin tekelinizde mi olduğunu sanıyorsunuz?"

Kitabı 2 hafta önce bitirim, ama elim buraya yorum yazmaya hiç gitmedi.

Ne desem havada kalacağın
...more
Charlene
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book (as well as Ayn Rand's book Anthem) when I was 14 years old and my brother was dying. I will never forget what a profound effect this book had on me. I needed to escape from reality and there was truly no better escape than to the world of a schizophrenic teenager who was struggling to get well. Rereading it as an adult, I was struck by several things. First, I had to laugh at myself because when I found out the main character (the teen/young adult with schizophrenia) went ...more
Sonia Gomes
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone, the grit and determination are amazing
What tips us over the edge? Who knows what experiences each one of us hides in our hearts or the scars of our mind.
What makes us shut the world that has been so terrible to us? What makes us say I just cannot go on; I need to shut myself in a protective cocoon.
The reasons are varied and many, they could be social or cultural. But one thing for sure, we want to get out of this life, we could commit suicide and many do that.
The rest of us, just tune off this World, this life, and wrap ourselves i
...more
Sandra
Oct 06, 2007 added it
Shelves: advisory2007-08
There were so many big words in this book, but i got through it and i was satisfied with the ending. It's about the three years a teenage girl, Deborah, spends at an asylum. Throughout the book, she constantly retreats to an imaginary world that she created to block out what she couldn't accept in the real world. Her time at the asylum wasn't at all bad because she made new friends and those were the only true friends she ever had. I think the friendship she built at the time gave her a reason t ...more
Pamela
I never read "classic" young adult literature when I was technically a young adult. I thought it was too fluffy or too silly or too angst-ridden to be interesting. Let's face it: I was a book snob. Still am kind of a book snob, but at least I realize my error and am trying to correct it.

You know how the human mind makes odd associations sometimes, with nothing to back up the association other than some fluke of a synaptic bridge? When I was younger, I thought that this was the sequel to Summer o
...more
Samantha C
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thing that is so wrong about being mentally ill is the terrible price you have to pay for survival. - p. 63

The people on the edge of Hell were most afraid of the devil; for those already in hell the devil was only another and no one in particular. - p. 72

There are other deaths than death -- worse ones. - p. 73

The boredom of insanity was a great desert, so great that anyone's violence or agony seemed an oasis, and the brief simple moments of companionship seemed like a rain in the desert that
...more
AJ
An interesting book, and quite good. However it's definitely a product of its time. I dislike the implications that mental illness can be caused by an individual or hir parents, and that it is only a matter of willpower to overcome it.
Helynne
Oct 16, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Lisa, Bright and Dark
  • The Snake Pit
  • The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality
  • Gracefully Insane: The Rise and Fall of America's Premier Mental Hospital
  • Dibs in Search of Self
  • Bodies Under Siege: Self-Mutilation and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry
  • The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls
  • Life Inside
  • The Day the Voices Stopped
  • Welcome to My Country
  • When Rabbit Howls
  • The Best Little Girl in the World
  • Is There No Place on Earth for Me?
  • A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain
  • The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness
  • Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Agnes's Jacket: A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness
  • Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl
“There is nothing that you can do to me that my own craziness doesn't do to me smarter and faster and better.” 74 likes
“I once had a patient who used to practice the most horrible tortures on himself, and when I asked him why he did such things, he said, 'Why, before the world does them.' I asked him then, 'Why not wait and see what the world will do?' and he said, 'Don't you see? It always come at last, but this way at least I am master of my own destruction.” 52 likes
More quotes…