Shadow of the MoleThe war, any war can take its toll on those that are on the front lines. Whether you are an officer, soldier, nurse or in this case a young psychiatrist, you feel the stress, the dangers and the frustrations of not knowing when the next bomb will hit or if you will survive. Dr. Michel Denis is a young man who lost his arm but is a psychiatrist in training and finds himself fascinated and for some reason enamored with a mysteries man who is discovered unconscious and that call him THE MOLE. Claiming he has no recall and does not know who he is and lost his memory, Denis finds himself wanting to know more. He believes that this man is experiencing what so many do front -line trauma- a theory that does not stand with eh top brass and they feel he might be a deserter. His voice is distinct but its heard not always verbally but within his writing that reveals he is smart and well versed or knowledgeable in the development of psychoanalysis and this makes Michel want to do everything to help The Mole rediscover his past and identity. Why? Can you change a person. Why is Michel so anxious to learn the Mole’ identity as he begins to show a facility for an intelligent reoccupation. The Mole is a perfect medical case to write about and study. The author created stories that the Mole wrote about the past of two people torn by the war and dealing with situations that at times were grave. His character< Alain Mangin is complicated and lives in the might, secrets go in his role as investigator and search for a girl and her brother from the past. Is this who the Mole really is? The Mole, the shadow figure is not sure if the people he is looking for are real or just his mind playing with him. Mangin become involved with Dr. Joseph Breuer treatment of a girl named Anna O, a serious landmark case in the development of this field. Reality and invention of the mind are prevalent and on many different plains in this novel. The sad past is as you get to know Denis and Marge a nurse you begin to see how the medical stop stops seeing people as she describes, their terror, pain and more. Denis thinks to treat shell-shock using Breuer’s method. But within himself he needs acceptance, self-esteem is poor and flashback to his own past and his own self revelations. He is a perfect narrator at times or illustrator of the first World War and his observations and professional dealings. The Mole is unique, and his writing is odd, disturbing and dark awakening of a young man named Alain with ideas of his own value, importance. Alain lives in the night. The Mole lacks memory and is found in the trenches during the war in 1916, Bois de Bolante, France. No knowing who he is the Mole writes about his life but is he Alain. The story is captivating, you wonder who this man is and if he is telling the truth? The war is the main event and the images you see that are graphically depicted by the author will haunt you long after reading this book. Events spiral in different direction but not before we learn about Jules Cotart the first to record the symptoms of delusions . Claiming the Mole was in second stage called: florid: Denis concluded this stage is characterized by delusions of negations. When he and Marie spar with words she disagrees and feels that he can’t just be a writer of a sensitive article who lost his mind because of this war and the changes within each one. Next we learn that for Denis it’s over and the Mole will be sent to a hospital for help, and he is now on the staff of a hospital The Aisle Departmental D’Alienes De Bron. Dealing with his director Denis and Ferrand have some discussions that both voice opinions and you wonder who to believe. Their discussions center around the Mole and the story the Mole wrote about Alain Mangin whose mother is about to descend on the hospital claiming he; s her son. Why is Denis fascinated with the Mole. Why the change of subject and what is the real reason she wants to cure him? he wants to find who he is and why he is authoring that story. When you hear the voice of the Mole you wonder if he is sane or just quite introspective. Acclaim for his stories means nothing to him. “This world is a reservoir of veil, a continuous illusion that is forced upon us and want need repeated every outage ever committed, a circle without end.” You wonder if he is talking about our real world today? Then the author adds several chapters revealing how Marie flashback to her relationship with Denis in the hospital where they worked, how it reflects on her now and the wish that she could relive some of it in the present. Ferrand and Michel have some interesting talks or confrontations, and each has his own great insight with thoughts before their time. Comments of nature of psychiatry and how it evolves is expressed by both. Each section or part creates suspense as to where this man came from, his life, Denis and Marie’s relationships and the final reveal as to who Alain might really be. This novel expresses opinions, true events, dreams sequences and their voices about this field. The entire book focuses on the hardships, mental challenges and pressures faced by patients and staff during this war. The suffering, the cruelties and the experiences, the education, role models and their interactions helps to center readers in many directions. The identity of the Mole is paramount and learning who Denis is, is vital. An ending that quite unexpected and will Denis face his own fears, understand what Ferrand is trying to do to help him and understanding his fears and issues. Wait until you read the final words. Within his mind Denis finds the realities of the past that led him to lose faith in the present and more. We learn about his father and the meat packing factory; we hear the voice of the man who claims to be the Mole’s brother and the link to a death that might have caused it all. Life tends send the unexpected as the wall of fire erupted and then Denis felt the difference between the self and the I delineated so clearly as when he groped the remains of Mazenc, the brother of the Mole and what was left of the director. Will Denis find peace? What about the final page? As the author shares with us the meaning of the word Shadow and why the Mole felt there was one following him and more. An ending that will tend to make readers think about their own views, how they feel about life, disappointments, fears and who they really are as the author reveals the importance of understanding what happens when you blame others for your shortcomings, what happens when one moment in time takes it all away. Everyone has a shadow that follows them and leads them in a path one way or another. WHO IS YOURS? WHERE IS IT?Fran Lewis just reviews
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