An evocative debut memoir of a psychiatric nurse.
Sollars studied psychology in college in the 1960s, but never thought about a career in nursing, as the idea of blood and sickness made her stomach churn. After the Vietnam War, the U.S. government, recognizing the shortage of nurses and social workers, offered funding for anyone who was interested in those professions. As a single mom who was dissatisfied with the jobs she’d held, Sollars applied for social work. She scored high on the test, only to find that the funding was in limbo and that she might have to wait two years before she could begin her schooling. Her father encouraged her to train as a nurse for psychiatric patients. Sollars began her training, and within her first two months, she witnessed a patient’s psychotic break. Many of the events that she relates in this book would unnerve most people—such as patients self-harming or experiencing hallucinations—and although she was frightened at times, Sollars impressively held out, working to help tortured individuals whom other people wished to forget. The author shows how the taboo against mental illness was all too real; early on in her career, for example, she faced people who didn’t want to admit that their family members were suffering from illness, and instead chalked up their behavior to drug use. Sollars, however, wasn’t willing to stand by and do nothing about this. Instead, she wrote a proposal, later approved, for a program to help family members understand their loved ones’ conditions. Sollars demonstrates her commitment to her patients throughout each chapter of her memoir, and her accessible language and detailed scenarios reconstruct the horror, surprise, empathy, and confusion of working in a mental illness ward. At the same time, Sollars never sensationalizes her patients. In many ways, her memoir is a remarkable timeline of the treatment of mental illness in the past 40 years, and it’s a triumphant account of her boldness as a mother, nurse, and woman. At a time when mental health is in the forefront of conversations about our health care system, her story is one of hope.
A remembrance that beautifully underscores the severity and complexities of mental health issues.
A Complete Triumph!
By Jeannette Newman on October 7, 2016
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I am so glad it was. Psychiatric nursing in a correctional facility is not a subject I would ordinarily read. I was surprised to find that I had trouble putting it down and was sad when it ended. I would have missed out on a great read if I hadn’t read this work which is billed as fiction but reads like nonfiction. The patients and workers are so vividly drawn that there is a striking feeling of the real world to it with some shades of fiction. The nurse who is the heroine of the story had heart, courage, dedication and humor. She juggled a very stressful career with an interesting home life. If I were ever in a hospital I would want her to be my nurse. The patients are so vividly drawn that even though I finished this book a while ago I can still picture them in my head. I wish there was a sequel to this book because I would be interested to find out how the characters faired later in life. I can even imagine it as a movie because there was enough drama in it to fill a big screen..If you are looking for a compelling, exceedingly interesting, thoroughly worthwhile read, pick up And Some Will Triumph. You won’t be disappointed.
Couldn’t put it down !!
By redsteron September 23, 2016
Couldn’t put it down!! An author who can truly put thoughts into words but keep it exciting I want more of the stalker character, maybe there is a sequel??
By Michael Maderoon September 25, 2016
Amazing book. I felt as if I were in the correctional facility. Great writing, I was hooked from very first page.
By Camille Cookon October 11, 2016
Amazing book and author. Only a special kind of person can write this story….
I could not put this book down
By Amazon Customer on September 14, 2016
I could not put this book down once I started reading it. The author takes you on a journey through the halls of the mental health department in the jail and from there you are caught in a web of denial, disbelief, anger, frustration and compassion. This is a must read if you are looking for a true page turner! Nancy Mueller ~Empowerment Sensei
This book will capture you from the first to last …
By Larry P. on September 19, 2016
This book will capture you from the first to last page. The author, Virginia Sollars, clearly knows what she is talking about and she knows from first hand experience. The book is very thought provoking and is sure to make the reader think about mental health. Hopefully in the future – all will triumph.
By Justin Stepp on September 21, 2016
Awesome story! While the story keeps you turning the page to see what happens next, the real plight of the mental health patients in a correctional setting is heartbreaking. Elizabeth is shown to not only do her job, but to really care about each individual she takes care of. We need more Elizabeth’s in this world! So excellent book and I would suggest it to you all!!!
Fascinating and Different
By Elexious Musick on September 1, 2016
Absolutely the best book I’ve read in years, uncensored look into correctional mental health, patients, inmates and the professionals who deal with some of society’s most troubled criminals, their day to day struggles all interwoven within a gripping story of murder and suspense. A must read!
Amazing journey of a skillful and compassionate nurse who shares …
By Linda Fitzpatrick on August 27, 2016
Amazing journey of a skillful and compassionate nurse who shares an intimate glimpse into a world we would otherwise not see. Wonderful writing!