Official Review: Splintered Reality by Stephanie Colbert

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Splintered Reality by Stephanie Colbert

Post by Cecilia_L »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Splintered Reality" by Stephanie Colbert.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Imagine waking up disoriented, paranoid, and delusional; when sleep comes, it is filled with "hellish nightmares." Stephanie Colbert chronicles the details of her horrific ordeal in her nonfiction narrative, Splintered Reality. In the introduction, Colbert's psychiatrist describes his patient's experiences after being admitted to the ICU before the symptoms of COVID-19 were recognized: "She was in a coma for 18 days, on a ventilator, then went on to experience psychotic episodes."

I read this 56-page narrative in one sitting. Colbert's memories of her experiences that her doctor refers to as "ICU psychosis" are both harrowing and fascinating. She presents these episodes in brief chapters that are alternated with her husband's observations. For example, "Scene One" is written from Colbert's perspective; "Scene Two" reflects her husband's thoughts and distress about his wife's condition.

Sadly, the need for ICU care due to the virus has become a grim reality for many, but I can't fathom how much more frightening it would be if it was compounded by psychotic episodes. Also, at the time of Colbert's January 2020 hospital admission, there was a lack of awareness about COVID-19 in general. Colbert gives readers a first-person glimpse into her nightmarish journey through vivid accounts of her experiences. I particularly like the scenes that portray her husband's perspective and his lovingly patient responses to his wife's delusions. Whether Colbert is accusing Quinton of being an impostor or insisting he put out nonexistent fires, he constantly reassures her that he will tell her the truth. He researches his wife's psychosis and brings her an eclectic assortment of food he knows she prefers instead of hospital food, including bananas, protein shakes, and her favorite hamburgers. At the end of the book, Colbert credits her husband with saving her life "not once, but twice."

I appreciate Colbert's precautionary preface; she warns readers to avoid trying to make sense of her psychotic episodes. The introduction by her psychiatrist and her husband's observations provide needed clarity. However, although the nature of the book hinted that a tidy conclusion wasn't likely, I found the abrupt ending quite frustrating. Not only does it leave the reader with questions, it literally ends with a question. Given the book's brevity, the addition of a few details about Colbert's recovery and lingering effects of the disease would strengthen it as a whole.

Overall, I rate Splintered Reality 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to fans of nonfiction narratives and those interested in mental health as it relates to the coronavirus. The book is professionally edited and contains minor profanity.

******
Splintered Reality
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Tjbarn86
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Post by Tjbarn86 »

Great review. The mind is and its workings and its misalignings sure always make something splendid to know more about. The narrative having more than a single mirror to reflect the situation adds to perhaps a better clarity outlook at perceiving what is dealt with. I would be pleased to come across this read.
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Post by Cecilia_L »

Tjbarn86 wrote: 13 Feb 2021, 11:14 Great review. The mind is and its workings and its misalignings sure always make something splendid to know more about. The narrative having more than a single mirror to reflect the situation adds to perhaps a better clarity outlook at perceiving what is dealt with. I would be pleased to come across this read.
Thanks for your comment. :tiphat:
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Post by Joy Phill »

I agree that such an 'emotional' book should have a proper conclusion. Thanks for a well-written review.
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Post by kandscreeley »

Psychotic episodes? I'm sure that was scary. I don't think this is the book for me, but thanks for the review.
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Post by Saint Bruno »

This author's story is worth telling. There is a lot to learn from it. Thank you for your insightful review and recommendation.
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Post by Yvonne Monique »

This must have been such a scary and frustrating experience for the author. I completely agree with you that it would be interesting to know if the author finally fully recovered.
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Post by Dartemis »

I can only imagine how terrifying this has to be between the psychotic episodes and COVID-19. This was also during the time when COVID was not as well known about as it is now so having to go to the hospital with something you don’t fully understand yet adds to the horror. Overall great review!
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Post by kdstrack »

The unique presentation of the husband's perspective helps readers understand what Stephanie thought she was experiencing. I think this double perspective would be fascinating! This is a short, but powerful, read. Thanks for the amazing recommendation! I look forward to reading this one. :-)
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Post by Suzer6440 xyz »

Your review definitely makes me want to read this! Very interesting and I also like that I can read it in a day
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Post by OBC Reviewer »

Though these cases are not uncommon, it is not common for such patients to come out with first hand experiences like this. Nice review for a nice book
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Post by MsH2k »

It was a great idea to include the perspectives of Colbert’s husband and psychiatrist to give a full picture of her illness. I hope that she is continuing to recover and that she will provide an update in a subsequent edition.
Thank you for your thorough review.
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Post by topdan30 »

This is sure an emotional book. Great review
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Post by Cecilia_L »

Joy Phill wrote: 13 Feb 2021, 16:02 I agree that such an 'emotional' book should have a proper conclusion. Thanks for a well-written review.
Thanks for your comment.
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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L »

kandscreeley wrote: 13 Feb 2021, 18:34 Psychotic episodes? I'm sure that was scary. I don't think this is the book for me, but thanks for the review.
You're welcome. I appreciate your comment. :tiphat:
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