by Joelle Steele
April 29, 2015: Seeing is believing — or is it the other way around? Delusions is the story of Amanda Woods, a twice-diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, pitifully neglected by social services for almost twelve years, and living in a run-down Victorian house in Venice Beach, California. Amanda has long teetered on the edge of reality, plagued by a variety of delusions and hallucinations, including a very hostile one involving her late and negligent mother, Rhoda Pruitt. Amanda calls it her "Rhoda-delusion." However, her new case worker, Donna Rodriguez, has met Rhoda, and she knows Rhoda is not a delusion at all. Driven by her desire to help others, Donna investigates Amanda's past, which leads her to uncover Rhoda's sordid history as well. Stunned by what she discovers, she calls on her priest, Father Elias Antonelli, for help. Elias is a man of faith and a popular priest in his community, but he has long struggled with his commitments to the Catholic Church. Elias would like to help Amanda, but when he comes face to face with Rhoda Pruitt, he discovers something he was not expecting, something that threatens everything he has ever believed in.
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This story is a sad, but realistic view of how the mind might function once something disrupts its normal pattern. The story begins with Amanda Woods giving up everything positive in her life to be a caregiver to her dying mother, who once abandoned her. Amanda feels resentment, but also a sense of responsibility. As time goes by and the length of time she cares for her mother is prolonged, Amanda begins to exhibit signs of a mental disorder. Doctors diagnosis Amanda as a high-functioning schizophrenic and place her in the care of social workers. More years pass and Amanda’s case is passed to different social workers. Amanda lives in her delusional world until her newest social worker begins to suspect that something is amiss in Amanda life. It’s a compassionate story with a strong narrator. - Victoria Schwimley (4 stars on Goodreads, 4 stars on Amazon)
"Delusions" is a fascinating fictional tale of one person's struggle with insanity and the heroic efforts of those who cared enough to save her. Although it is largely a mystery, it is also an exploration of the roles of religion, psychiatry, the paranormal and even biology, in both identifying and curing the insane. If you've ever thought of a raving, ragged street person as just "nuts", you will never think of them in that way again. In the end there is hope even for the hopeless, though it may come from some unlikely places. - C. Martelli (5 stars on Amazon)
This was a good book. A delusional woman is assigned another caseworker.She wants nothing to do with it. Her mother,who died years ago BUT is still harrassing her says everything and everyone was sent by the 'benzos'. Luckily the case worker will not give up and gets to the very scary bottom of this. William Sturdevant is a wonderful narrator. I was given this Amazon Audible book free by the narrator. -Deedra (5 stars on Goodreads)
The different characters were interesting. The story keep me engaged and I had a hard time putting the book down. It is a good audiobook to listen to and made it entertaining by the great job of the narrator. I was given a free copy for my review. - med c (4 stars on Amazon)
This book really makes you think about so many different things. How do three people see the same thing and yet see something different at the same time? How does what you believe affect what you see? And what did we really see? A great and unexpected ending to a very thought-provoking story. I loved this book, and it has left me thinking ... and thinking! - Bob Worth
The development of the characters was very interesting. The pace of the story was able to keep me engaged and I had a hard time putting the book down. It is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in a complex and quick moving story. - K. Anderson (5 stars on amazon.com)
"Delusions" was not what I unexpected — and I'm not complaining. I like to be surprised, and this book has a twist of an ending too. I bought it because I had read "Shades" by the same author and thought it was a very good read, and this book is equally entertaining and informative at the same time. The author has again created memorable characters that are psychologically intriguing. And once again, I loved the ending. - bookminer12am
Terrific story about beliefs and perceptions. Excellent balance of facts and trivia in the investigation. I give it five stars and two thumbs up! - Marie D.
"Delusions" is part ghost story, part psychological case study. The author does a great job of getting into the heads of her characters. - read0it0to0me0baby