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Reviews of Opening Gates

Opening Gates

Summer 1956. Rennie takes a job as a recreational therapist in a large mental hospital in New York City despite her reluctance to sign a loyalty oath in the charged times of anti-communist hysteria. She has no relevant experience but she’s good at sports. How hard can it be? Very hard, she discovers.

As Rennie struggles to relate to unpredictable patients and challenging hospital staff she forges friendships with a remarkable assortment of people.Too stubborn to wait, Rennie finds meaningful ways to connect with her patients and creates previously unimagined opportunities for them. By summer’s end, no longer dependent on other’s opinions, she can listen to her heart and conscience and make crucial changes in her life.

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A summer job as a recreational therapist in a New York City psychiatric hospital unlocks the door to self-discovery for this tale's young heroine... It is 1956... Experience in working with mentally ill patients not required. And no training offered. Despite the requisite Loyalty Oath that she must sign (...debris of McCarthyism still lingers), something Rennie considers repugnant, she decides to accept the position... Rennie finds herself breaking the cardinal rules of employment at Concordia... Don t get personal. Don t get friendly. Don t offer to help. As the summer progresses, she forges friendships with a remarkable assortment of secondary characters... More important, she begins to earn a modicum of trust among the patients... Because the patients are depicted through Rennie s eyes, and she is unencumbered by the details of diagnosis and prognosis, they are portrayed with a visceral poignancy and compassion... An intriguing, sometimes-painful reminder of 1950s culture that offers enough bright spots to make this novel an enjoyable read. 
Kirkus Reviews

This is a story of love, disappointment, fear, and discovery. Both provoking and uplifting, it is a great read.
Joanna Hill, author of Spiritual Law,and Words of Gratitude

A summer job in an mental hospital mirrors the oppressive McCarthy era of the 1950's. In expert storytelling, unpredictable obstacles force Rennie to draw on inner resources, and her confining work opens gates in her personal life.
William H. Abrashkin, former judge and American history enthusiast

Opening Gates opens up your mind, heart and soul.. highly recommended.
5 star review : Sherylon from the Kindle Book Review

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Updated February 2020.

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