The Order of Things by Lynne Hinton

     You may remember Hinton’s earlier books, including her popular first novel, order1Friendship Cake.  While she’s moved from North Carolina to New Mexico, her fans still consider her a North Carolinian and enjoy her books as much as we did when she lived in our area.  And – this book is set in North Carolina.  The theme sounds depressing – not something many of us would immediately choose to read for pleasure.  The main character, Andreas Hackett, is a research librarian at a university who’s been the staff member to call on for the most difficult questions and has loved keeping the library organized.  Suddenly she loses interest in life, can’t remember where she parked her car – or even what type of car she has – and feels depressed and “out of order.”  She knows of no reason for the problem but tries individual and group therapy without success.  Finally she checks into a psychiatric hospital.  There, she finds herself in the room next to a prison inmate who’s temporarily staying in the facility, and they begin talking through the wall.  After one amazing night of conversation, both she and he find new self-understanding and new hope, and the book has a happy ending!

(Helen Snow, Information Services)

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