Banana Kiss: Bonnie Rozanski
Robin Farber is schizophrenic and a fairly-willing resident of Berkshire hospital—much to her mother’s secret relief and her step-father’s quickly-shrinking bank account.
Despite being an in-patient, Robin’s days are fairly full with watching her roommate Beverly read the same page of Vogue, eating whatever color glop is being served that day with her friend, Roz, flushing her meds, giving the occasional black eye to orderlies and resisting any relationship with Derek; a manic depressive who’s in love with her.
To assist with her potential transition to out-patient living, Robin has daily meetings with Dr. Mankiewicz aka “Whitecoat”. One of the main issues Dr. Mankiewicz is focusing on is Robin’s part in her sister Melissa’s upcoming wedding—to Max, Robin’s ex-boyfriend.
Though Robin insists she’s ok with the marriage, the voices say otherwise.
Even with all of the voices in her head, the fact that she thinks she can send and receive messages telepathically—a buzz in her molar filling denotes the arrival of an email—and not to discount the fact that on most days she thinks she’s God, Robin is actually very astute and quite intelligent.
Robin’s observations of herself and those around her are quite perceptive; although sometimes it’s diffiuclt to determine if she’s being delusional or if her views are a bit skewed. Although Derek loves her, Robin is smart enough to see him for what he truly is and chooses to keep things in perspective—which is something most sane people may not be able to do; even Robin knows she can’t “save” anybody.
One of the more interesting voices in Robin’s head is that of her father. Having killed himself when she was just an infant, Robin calls on him for help with tough questions or situations and he’s usually able to reason with her or give good solid advice.
Bonnie Rozanski’s debut novel is quite a feat. Her ability to write from the point of view of an emotionally disturbed woman, grappling with very tough life situations has a very authentic feel and she does an excellent job with the dialogue-heavy story line.