When we think of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, we normally think of people who have survived war conditions. But as is illustrated in this novel by Australian author John Marsden, PTSD can happen to civilians as well.
The idea for the story came from a famous case in Australia of a young woman, Kay Nesbit, being shot in the face by the irate ex-boyfriend of her roommate. She ended up having 57 surgeries to restore her face to a somewhat normal condition..
In “So Much To Tell You”, 14-year-old Marina has been the victim caught in the violent relationship of her parents. She has been traumatized to the point that she no longer speaks. When she is discharged from the hospital, Marina is sent to a boarding school, where it is hoped that being around other young people will pull her out of her self-imposed silence. The English teacher makes each young person keep a daily journal. The rest of the book is the slow healing process that Marina undergoes.
This is actually John Marsden’s first book, written before his famous “Tomorrow” series. It won several Australian awards, such as the Christopher Award and the Victorian Premier’s Award, and was the Austalian Book Of The Year in 1988. A few years after he wrote this book, Mr. Marsden wrote a play version so that it could be performed in the theatre.
Although I liked the author’s later books better, this is a well-written first book.