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Book Review: Home by the Sea by Shyreen Tyler

Book Review: Home by the Sea by Shyreen Tyler

It's Bonus Book Review Saturday, and today we're going psychological! It's a unique story set in a mental institution, and definitely worth the read…

Home by the Sea

Writer Aaron Baker decides to intern voluntarily in a mental institution to do research about schizophrenia. In his late thirties and confident of his own mental health, Aaron is not threaten by being surrounded with mentally ill patients for a few days. Violence on the other hand makes him nervous and uncomfortable. In the hospital, he meets Dr. Marcus Reynolds, a soft spoken and mild mannered doctor who directs the institution. Dr. Reynolds is willing to help Aaron by giving him freedom to interview patients and watch their behavior around the hospital. He also offers him his years of experience to discuss details about the illness. HomebytheSea_cover_final During his stay, Aaron notices that the patients are provided with excellent care, but show no sign of improvement. On the contrary, as days pass, they seem to get worse. When bringing this up to Dr. Reynolds, his kind demeanor changes and he becomes distant and evasive. Aaron finds a similar response from other members of the staff. This leads Aaron to suspect that there is something happening at the hospital that they don't want to be known. With the help of an unlikely ally, a teenage patient named Emeline, Aaron discovers what Dr. Reynolds and his staff are conspiring about. A secret that will change his perception of reality.

My Review: 4 Stars

I started this book expecting something a bit more horror-fueled, but was brought along at a slow pace into the world of this character--Aaron Baker. The book sort of meanders, and it takes its time to build up to the climax. There's not much to hold your interest in the middle of the book, but once it approaches the end, it gets interesting. I did get a bit annoyed by all the adverbs, which made the writing a bit clunky. Also, all of the characters spoke exactly the same, and there was nothing to distinguish their patterns of dialogue. The conversations were all a bit choppy. That being said, wait until you reach the end. It was an excellent twist ending, and not at all what I was expecting. Worth the read!

Here's a Taste:

"The night was rough. Although Aaron fell asleep almost immediately, he wasn’t able to rest. His dreams were filled with images that came and went quickly. He was walking through one of the hospital halls when a woman with her face overly painted pulled him to the floor and jumped on top of him not allowing him to move or breath. A deep voice from an invisible man told him not to enter those doors, which he couldn’t see but somehow felt by his side. Dr. Reynolds walked into the scene to ask him if he needed anything, but Aaron couldn’t talk to ask for help. Suddenly, he broke free but he wasn’t in the hospital anymore. He was in the kitchen of a house that looked familiar, and he could hear people arguing. He was grabbed again by an invisible force, and this time he felt a pain that he couldn’t describe. He fought to release himself, but whoever had him was stronger and Aaron was helpless. He yelled using all the air in his lungs, and his own scream woke him up. He was sitting in bed, sweating, anxious, not remembering where he was. After that, it was impossible to sleep again. The dream had left him breathless and shaking. Some parts of it he could relate to his experiences of the day; others came from nowhere. He used his respiratory exercises to relax, but he tossed and turned for hours trying to get rid of the bad memory. Only the sound of the waves that came from afar soothed him to sleep in the deep hours of the night."

About the Author:

Shyreen Tyler -- I was born with my head in the clouds. As a child, my two best friends lived in a flower which was part of my room's wallpaper. During my youth, when I wasn't at school or doing homework, fantasies filled my time. Thanks to my parents, reading became more than a hobby. It became an addiction. My mom used to read bedtime stories to me and my 3 siblings. My dad was subscribed to a book club that would send him new books every month. Our library was filled with stories of all genres. Reading covered my need for other worlds, other lives. It fueled my fantasy world where I felt so comfortable. People who love reading eventually attempt at writing. Many years had to pass for me to dare. While taking writing classes, an idea popped in my head which became my first book, Home by the Sea, published in 2014. I'm in my early forties and my head is still in the clouds. Thankfully, I'm not alone. Many characters and their stories are there with me. Eventually, they will come to life and hopefully, I will share them with you. Find the book on Amazon: Connect via Facebook: Tweet at Shyreen: Read her thoughts on her blog: