March 28, 2007
Mrs. Lesie Rice
Advanced English 10
“I Never Promised You A Rose Garden”
“I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” is a fiction novel written by Joanne Greenberg. Mrs. Greenberg is a Jewish-American who was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1932. She went to a college in Colorado to obtain a degree in social science, and she only writes as a hobby. Mrs. Greenberg once had a mental illness that ruled part of her life. Her illness and the murder of a former student contributed to the works of this novel, which is one of her most popular novels.
In the novel, Joanne Greenburg tells about a teenager named Deborah that deals with her schizophrenia she obtained at age five. Deborah did not want to deal with the real world. This is why she acquired her schizophrenia. She created her own world that was much different and comforting at first. It is known as the imaginary kingdom of Yr. This world was ruled by gods and transformed later into dictators. When Deborah was enrolled in a mental institute it troubled her parents, Ester and Jacob, very much. Clara Fried, Deborah’s therapist, is the one who helps Deborah get over her illness. Fried does not push Deborah too far, which gains Deborah’s trust. After fighting her illness, Deborah acquires her GED with hard work.
This novel was an excellent story that I greatly enjoyed reading. It explained the hardship of being handicap or invalid. I greatly respect anyone who is going through or has overcome a mental illness. “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden” has a very strong storyline. However, the novel also has negative attributes. The character jumps from the real world to Deborah’s imaginary world without giving a sign to the reader. Also, it was confusing to tell whether she was having a conversation with the creatures of Yr or the characters in the hospital.
Greenberg makes me realize that living with a handicap affect’s everyone and not just yourself. I enjoyed the...