The Girl in the Box

a literary novel by Sheila Dalton

coming in March 2011! Vist the WEBSITE

Two women must overcome a shared tragedy

A mute Mayan girl held captive in a crate in the Guatemalan jungle, a big-city psychoanalyst with a rescue complex, and a journalist with a broken heart are the characters in Dalton’s second literary novel.

Caitlin Shaughnessy, a Canadian journalist, discovers that Inez, a traumatized young Mayan woman originally from Guatemala, has killed Caitlin’s partner, Dr. Jerry Simpson, a psychoanalyst. Simpson had brought the girl, who may be autistic, back to Canada as an act of mercy and to attempt to treat her obvious trauma. Cailin desperately needs to find out why this terrible incident occurred, which resulted in her partner’s death, so she can find the strength to forgive and move on with her life.

Caitlin, who is not above playing the political game to further her career, understands that Jerry was a conflicted individual. He did well by his patients but had issues of his own. Inez, whose sense of wonder and innocence touches all who meet her, becomes a focal point for many of the Canadians who encounter her. As Caitlin struggles to uncover the truth about Inez’s relationship with Jerry, Inez struggles to break free of others’ projections. Each must confront her own anger and despair.

The torrid heat of Guatemala is in vivid contrast to the sterile cold purity of the psychiatric facility in Labrador where Inez is held. The doctors in the north have an iciness that matches their surroundings, a kind of clinical armour that Caitlin must penetrate if she is to reach Inez.

In places, this book has a surreal quality, though the issues—civil war in Guatemala, Mayan genocide, and professional misconduct among big city psychoanalysts—are real and gritty. The themes range from the clash of cultures to the many forms love can take, and how we confuse and abuse them. The Girl in the Box is a psychological drama of the highest order and a gripping tale of intrigue and passion.

ISBN 978-1-926607-26-9 / 328 pages / 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" / trade paperback / $22.95 CDN, $22.95.95 U.S.