Searching for Sanity

Review of “Where is She Now” by Nina Sankovitch,

December 15, 2009
Frances Gilbert’s “Where Is She Now” is a stunning psychological thriller that probes the lucidity contained within madness, and the fear that rides along when trauma suppresses knowledge.  Rosemary is a young woman who may have witnessed a crime or she may have participated in it: she cannot remember as her memory is fogged both by prescribed drugs and by her own terror of discovering the truth. She is a woman fighting to hold onto her sanity and protect her child; she is a pawn in a power struggle between her mother and her husband; she is a visionary who sees past wrongs, and struggles to restore balance in her universe.
Deemed crazy by some, pitiable by others, and gifted by just a few, Rosemary as presented to the reader is all of these and much more: she is a woman alone fighting demons from within and without.  Can I believe her?  Is she crazy or horribly sane? I became enthralled with her as I read on, and increasingly saddened by her situation. Rosemary’s loneliness and confusion is heartbreaking, as are her efforts to find guidance and companionship in made-up characters and anthropomorphized objects.  When Rosemary finds herself witnessing infanticide from centuries past, I shuddered for her; when she found unexpected alliance in her struggle, I hoped for her.
Gilbert’s writing is lyrical and clear.  She does an excellent job portraying the fear and anxiety of someone shaken to the core by trauma, by guilt, and by helplessness in the face of very real danger.  Gilbert takes her time creating Rosemary and her space in the world. Slowly, details accumulate and surely, the reader is drawn into the mystery of Rosemary’s child, the question of Rosemary’s sanity or insanity, and the struggle for Rosemary’s survival.
The final unraveling of the truth is unexpected, believable, and riveting.  Kindness comes in the form of strangers while treachery begins at home.  Where Is She Now left me gasping and roiling, breathless and blown away.  This is a wonderful novel.

Frances Gilbert at Wallingford Artist Showcase, Feb 8

Frances Gilbert will be appearing at the Wallingford Public Library on Saturday February 8th for the annual Artists Showcase from 1 – 3 p.m. CT authors will be on hand to read from their works and sell books. The Wallingford Public Library is located at 200 North Main, Wallingford, CT

Give the gift of reading through Kabuki Helps and Toys for Tots

Cookie Thief and Elephant Blue among suggested books to give through Kabuki Helps and Toys for Tots

Kabuki Helps has joined with the United States Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program to promote the gift of reading for children in need. Frances Gilbert’s books can be purchased on the Kabuki Helps website for shopping to the Toys for Tots program.  Just go to   and use code Toy$TotsB to receive a 10 percent discount on purchases.

Kabuki Helps is a community of parents and teachers committed to making learning fun, has joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots Literacy Program to help put books in the hands of children most in need.

“The gift of a book this holiday season can make a huge difference for a child’s future,” said Lisa Hayes, founder of Kabuki Helps. “Literacy opens doors and can help break the cycle of poverty.”

To encourage donations, Kabuki Helps will pay for shipping to Toys for Tots on items purchased through its website for the Literacy Program. Books on the site are appropriate for children in Grades K-5. All are educational, as well as fun, helping children develop basic skills in math and reading.  Shoppers also can support Toys for Tots when they purchase books as gifts for family and friends.  Ten percent of every purchase from Kabuki Helps goes to support a charity of the shopper’s choice.

Suggested books for the Literacy Program include:

·       Varun’s Quest, an engaging adventure for children in grades 3-4 that teaches them to think like scientists as they solve a mystery about the plants and animals.

·       The Cookie Thief, by Frances Gilbert, a clever story about honesty, geared to early readers and pre-readers

·       Elephant Blue, a book of children’s poetry that will be appreciated by children through age 10.

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Dec 14: Willington Public Library Holiday Authors Event

Frances Gilbert will appear at the Holiday Authors Event on December 14 at the Willington Public Library, from 9 am – 3 pm.  The Willington Library is conveniently located in Willington, CT on Route 74, with easy access off I-84.