Biographies & Memoirs

Euphoria

By

This book will launch on Jun 7, 2025. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Not for me 😔

Euphoria has an intriguing storyline and engaging author but a lack of detail makes it miss the mark.

Synopsis

Belgium. December 2018. When Antonia announces to her husband that she wants to divorce, he brings her in a psychiatric hospital by forced admission, for reasons of burn out and euphoric behavior.
After her release, Antonia flees the hospital and makes her spiritual journey to Mardin. Out of anger, her husband puts her on the list of missing persons within the European Union.
And the story continues...Happy Carpe Diem!

Follow the story on the dedicated Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/antonia.spice

The novella is composed mainly of transcripts between Antonia and her psychiatrist, with letters and court scripts in between. This made the story much more intimate and personal; there were moments you feel like you’re reading someone’s diary. As a result, there is a connection to Antonia as we witness the changes throughout her life. The layout is very engaging and dynamic, and certainly a great choice for diving into someone’s interior life.


Antonia’s story by itself is admirable. She abandons the comfort and safety of a good job and loving family to embark on a spiritual journey and discover herself. Reading how she has grown as a person through these experiences, how her outlook on life has changed, was quite remarkable. Yet she also doesn’t shy away from the heartbreak of divorce and the difficulties that come with that.


Yet, ultimately, Euphoria didn’t work for me, and the key reason for that is its length. At 70 pages it is too short, and a lot of things are missing from the narrative. A key one is the reasons why she is being admitted to the psychiatric hospital. The reader is told them briefly in the court transcripts but there’s no exploration into them. For example, Antonia wishes to visit a Syriac Orthodox Church near Mardin, Turkey. Her husband, however, insists that she wants to buy a monastery in Syria. But why? Why does he believe she wishes to buy a monastery instead of merely visiting one? Why does he insist Syria when the one Antonia mentions (and visits) is in Turkey? These questions are never answered; admittedly, her husband is not the focus of the piece, but he never expands upon his reasoning in court or letters. The lack of information makes the whole novella a bit baffling.    


Euphoria is not a bad book. The layout is great and works wonderfully for the plot, plus Antonia is an engaging narrator. It just needs more information added. The idea of a husband forcibly admitting his wife to a hospital because she has an increased interest in sex, dances late at night, and wants to visit a monastery is odd. Something feels missing for the reader to truly understand the novella and Antonia’s plight. Euphoria has a lot of promise, but never quite hits the mark.   

Reviewed by

Lou has been blogging on Random Book Reviews Web for nearly 3 years, reviewing a mixture of books from historical fiction to romance to non-fiction. When not reading she can be found at her local cinema, theatre or in her kitchen attempting to bake.

Synopsis

Belgium. December 2018. When Antonia announces to her husband that she wants to divorce, he brings her in a psychiatric hospital by forced admission, for reasons of burn out and euphoric behavior.
After her release, Antonia flees the hospital and makes her spiritual journey to Mardin. Out of anger, her husband puts her on the list of missing persons within the European Union.
And the story continues...Happy Carpe Diem!

Follow the story on the dedicated Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/antonia.spice

‘Life is a sufficient book.’‘1 – François Jacob

Psychiatric Hospital


Psychiatrist: Why are you at our psychiatric hospital, Antonia? You have been brought here by a procedure of forced admission from an emergency psychiatric centre.

Antonia: Because my husband, his family and you consider my euphoria may be dangerous to myself and others… Because such fierce despair and desire have been awakened in me, having been confined in the box that society forces us to fit in… Because for the people who keep their souls imprisoned by the ropes of routine, my presence is disturbing and discomforting… Just because I want a divorce and be free in my spirit and follow my dreams… And, indeed, I had the honour of being accompanied by two policemen during my transfer, within the framework of the forced admission procedure.

Psychiatrist: Do you acknowledge that the long period of stress at work this year, especially this autumn, has derailed your normal way of life? You had everything to be happy, satisfied. You were happy, right?

Antonia: No, my mind and soul were not truly happy. Fulfilling one’s material goals and settling down shouldn´t mean everything and represent the only purpose of one’s existence. In this respect, I am so grateful for the experiences I have had over the past few months. Thanks to the recent surgery and the ongoing stressful period, I have realised that the only moment available to us to enjoy is NOW! Happy Carpe Diem! The stress has also been a catalyst in bringing to the surface the frustrations concerning my relationship with my husband that I have been sweeping under the carpet. Most of them are related to cultural differences, especially to a mentality gap: his need for certainties and his fear of changes versus my exuberant attitude towards seizing the unexpected moments that life creates every day through its invisible threads.

Psychiatrist: It´s Christmas Eve, Antonia. What is your dearest wish?

Antonia: What a meaningful question! Thank you for asking. It opens so many windows of possibilities. Well… to write a book about my experience of being a prisoner at your hospital, but one whose mind is free and beyond in liberty. Above all, I wish to live each day by its magic and not to live this life anymore in expectation, in the virtual reality of unaccomplished dreams.

Psychiatrist: See you next time, and Merry Christmas, Antonia!

Antonia: Merry Christmas to you and your family, Doctor! It will be the first time (and for sure the only time in my life) that I spend Christmas and New Year´s Eve at a psychiatric hospital, at a hospital of any kind. By the way, I received a fantastic present at our special Christmas Eve Dinner. We had been free to choose our place at the table, and each plate contained a piece of a wrapped paper. The text that chose me (nothing is coincidental) was the following: ‘Every new day is a chance to change your life’.



About the author

Not all roads lead to a destination, but writing has been my salvation since I have been diagnosed as bipolar. « Euphoria » is an autobiographical testimony of a maniacal period.A Bipolar brain is wired differently. We don't choose or play it up, we can´t even control it. view profile

Published on April 20, 2020

Published by

20000 words

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by

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