Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sounds Like Crazy-Shana Mahaffey

Sounds Like Crazy
Shana Mahaffey
NAL, Oct 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451227911

Her shrink Milton explains to Holly Miller that the repeated trauma led to her suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder as each personality has enabled her to cope. Holly does not recall what the trauma was, but knows her five personalities living inside help her almost as much as they drive her crazy. The “Committee” consists of the Boy in the red Converse with no face; the ancient meditating Silent One; Sarge the safety expert; Ruffles the chip eater, and Betty Jane the Scarlet O’Hara imitator.

She spent twelve Christmas holidays alone as mom remains in the Bay area discouraging her daughter form coming home. Meanwhile Betty Jane Holly works at a Manhattan diner in which she makes her best tips when her southern sexy Betty Jane persona outrageously flirts with the customers. Now Betty Jane lands them a TV gig with her flirtation; the rest of the Committee objects while Holly fears what will happen when she goes before the camera.

SOUNDS LIKE CRAZY is a fascinating tale of a woman suffering from a mental disorder though ironically she copes in society because of DID. The story line is at its best when it stays serious while each of the personalities knows when to take charge and when to remain dormant. When the tale turns to a Keystone Cops ensemble comedy, which occurs too frequently, the plot loses much of its insightfulness into the mind of a traumatized person. Still Shana Mahaffey provides an overall solid look at a person muddling through life due to her inner personalities.

Harriet Klausner

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