Alice's Reviews > Weekends at Bellevue: Nine Years on the Night Shift at the Psych E.R.

Weekends at Bellevue by Julie Holland
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's review
Aug 08, 2010

liked it
Recommended for: Grey's Anatomy junkies, people with serious experience in the psych ward

This is a serious departure from my usual pleasure reading. There are no teenagers, neurotic New Yorkers, scrappy dystopian societies, or fashionistas to be found. It's not even fiction! I picked this up at random from the New shelf at the NYPL and enjoyed it quite a bit. Holland has a good solid voice that reminded me of Kelly Cutrone, except I gave her book one star. Same sort of ballsy, macho, butch straight girl vibe. Julie does a rockstar job processing intakes at Bellevue, the most famous psych ward in the country. The book is peppered with juicy anecdotes and stories about all manner of mental illnesses, interspersed with Holland's own personal growth. I can't say Holland is an extremely likable person, but in my experience people who do the type of hella draining social service work that she does need to grow a thick skin to handle it. I also think she wouldn't get so much guff for it if she was a macho dude doctor instead of a macho chick doctor. Anyway, worth reading if you're into hospitals, mental illness, or interesting jobs. I really liked the last two chapters, where she waxes lyrical about how all of us are mentally ill in some way and there's no such thing as normal.

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