FőképThe “good girls” meet during a group psychotherapy session. At first glance, there is nothing wrong about them, but by the time we get to know them better as the story unfolds, we gain entry into their world, each girl revealing her own reason to come to a psychotherapist.

According to Jane, she looks like an underdeveloped teenager behind an oversized pair of glasses. She earns her living as an actuary, but she is also obsessed about the many different modes of suicide humankind have devised over time, if only theoretically. She also stalked a boyfriend of hers who dated her while also keeping his fiancée at hand.

Suzanna, or as the “good girls” tend to call her: The Dream Weaver, is a curly redhead with green eyes, radiating an aura of beauty wherever she goes. A nurse, she cares more about her dog than her patients. One might say she sacrificed human relationships for her own four-legged friend.

Laura is a freelance journalist with a penchant for free-flowing arrogance in the name of the intelligentsia, but her Gothic appearance – a huge nose ring and a top-to-bottom leather outfit – makes her kind of hard to take seriously. She can also boast an extensive knowledge and experience in one night stands.

Natasha is a sweet Afro-American woman, who seems to be the sanest of the lot – a tiny spot of tranquillity in a sea of madness. Under the surface, though, she is one of the most irrational women I’ve ever heard of. Her obsession is the impending doom coming to the world, complete with global contamination and a biological Armageddon.

Bethany is a forty-odd-year-old divorcee, still living with her mother after all those years, under the firm grasp of her mother’s opinion on her actions and looks. It’s as if she has been retarded in her mental development – most of the time, she dresses and acts like a carefree teenager.

Valentine is an overweight and underconfident piece of a woman, shy to the utmost, even afraid of her own shadow. If she finds herself in a state of anxiety or confusion, both states which she experiences often, she grabs hold of a bucket of food and gobbles it down instantly. Upon seeing something quite agreeable to her stomach, she gives in to temptation nine times out of ten.

Ivy is extraordinarily beautiful and all artificial. There’s not a nook or cranny on her body not yet reshaped under the scalpel of skilled surgeons. When she feels let down, she immediately seeks out her favourite plastic surgeon. Never having worked, she now faces a divorce, both of which add to her mental instability.

And finally, Dr. Hensen is the man who, out of pure academic interest, decided it would be a good idea to lump all these women together – middle-aged, single, divorced or widowed, childless and unable to intimately bond with men of their age – in a psychotherapeutic group, which will form the basis of his thesis.

All girls have their own quirks and psychological problems to be solved or alleviated by the group sessions. The initial distrust and enmity, however, soon gives its way to the honest sharing of their experiences, now able to talk through the pivotal points of all their lives. Sometimes, though, they take it a bit too far, as they exact their revenge on Jane’s former boyfriend.

Jane Medoff’s book is an entertaining and, at the same time, deeply moving story of women, who, suffering from either external or internal influences, battle with severe mental conditions. But, at least, they have managed to ask for expert help. Maybe they will also find life-long friends in therapy. Who knows?

Original article written by Galgóczi Móni
Translation by Makai Péter Kristóf