By Iain Reid – Gallery/Scout Press, 2022
Penny is an uninspired artist who has lived in the same apartment for decades. It’s full of her memories and collections. One day, to her surprise, she is moved to a long term care facility by her building manager after she suffers a few “incidents” attributed to her advanced years. She resists the idea that she and her late, longtime partner decided together to move there if one of them passed before the other. The facility is a private dwelling converted to accommodate six older residents in a family-like setting. At first, it is comforting, down to the chairs, bed and bedding, and the atmosphere inspires Penny to work. But she begins to sense that all is not right here: Can she trust the staff? Is she being drugged? As she begins to lose her grip on reality—why can’t she go outside or bathe alone?—Penny is left to wonder if what she is experiencing is just the result of aging or something far more nefarious. Her internal dialogue makes her so relatable. Who among us hasn’t been afraid that we’re losing our mind? Playing on our fears about death and dying, dementia and loss of control, the care home itself becomes villainous in its mystery. This is a psychological thriller that will pull you in.