Bergin is smart, witty and athletic, so when she swallows a bottle of pain killers, it surprises everybody. Fortunately, her stepbrother, Dylan, finds her and manages to save her life. Not that she is incredibly grateful to him. At least not in the beginning. One of the first things Bergin tells her doctors is that she will try again, and next time she won't fail. What she doesn't realize is that it is going to be a while before she is left alone long enough to make another attempt. At first, Bergin isn't allowed any privileges --- she's not allowed to take a shower alone, she's can't use a fork, or even go to the bathroom alone.
Told through the eyes of both Bergin and her mother Leslie, the reader slowly learns what Bergin was like before her suicide attempt; how she tried to protect her mother from everything, how she was so close to her father and grandfather, and why she really didn't like her stepmother, Miss Vicky LaTour. Through Bergin's talks with her psychiatrist, Dr. Cone, the reader learns how Bergin handled disappointment and how disappointment affected her.
Before writing THE TURNING HOUR Shelley Fraser Mickle did her homework. She learned about depression and suicide and what happens after a person tries to commit suicide, and she learned how to at least think like a lawyer, so she could make Leslie sound like one. But Mickle didn't make the entire story as depressed as Bergin. The humor combined with the seriousness of the story and the fact that it is just a wonderfully written book makes THE TURNING HOUR a truly timeless story.
Reviewed by Kathy Hale on September 1, 2001
The Turning Hour