Doctor, Doctor

A True Story of Obsession, Addiction, & Psychological Manipulation

Non-Fiction - Memoir
250 Pages
Reviewed on 12/19/2014
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

In an age where so many truths and events hidden for years, such as alleged sexual abuse by priests or celebrities, a public who would have dismissed such allegations even a decade ago is steadily being enlightened as to what goes on behind closed doors, and often at the hands of people we trust and love. That's what Merry Freer is doing with her memoir Doctor, Doctor: A True Story of Obsession, Addiction, & Psychological Manipulation. She throws light on yet another area of trust: that between a doctor and his patient. With the support of her therapist, a rather naive Merry leaves a stale marriage, only to fall hopelessly in love with someone who turns out to be anything but what she thought. In trusting him, and her doctor, when she turns again to him for help in dealing with the problems in her relationship, she discovers that not only is her new love a complete stranger with a bad secret, but so is her therapist. It takes her years to get over the double deception. She does survive well enough to start a new life and write Doctor, Doctor - but the scars will be there for a long time.

From the moment I saw the cover and read the description of Doctor, Doctor by Merry Freer, I knew I had to read this book. For one, I love memoirs where truth is so often stranger than fiction. In that respect, Doctor, Doctor didn't disappoint. Merry Freer is excellent at handling dialogue, which helps keep the book moving along. However, the impact of Doctor, Doctor would have been even stronger if the telling had been shorter. That said, for anyone who has ever had to deal with helping a loved one through an addiction, this will be an absorbing read.

Maria Beltran

Susan is troubled. Her marriage has broken down. She is asking for a divorce from a rather uncommunicative husband to finally get out of a relationship that is utterly lacking in passion. She is about to embark on a huge change in her life – and we know that changes are rarely comfortable to endure. Witness to this is her therapist Dr. J, who has been her counsel for the longest time. Based on a true story, Doctor Doctor by Merry Freer follows Susan as she leaves an uneventful life for another that she thinks might be the passionate love she has been looking for. Little does she know that it is a treacherous one. After meeting the seemingly likeable doctor, Mark, Susan invites him to her sessions with Dr. J. Things turn darker, however, as she slowly realizes the position she has been put in, and is drawn deeper into a world of lies and addiction.

What makes Doctor Doctor: A True Story of Obsession, Addiction, & Psychological Manipulation a chilling read is the fact that this is based on real events – events that happened to a random housewife, no less. Its narrative certainly keeps you on your toes as you go from one event to the next. The folk story referred to in the prologue – that of a frog unaware of the slowly rising temperature of the water it is placed in – is exactly how readers will feel as they walk with Susan though her trials, and one can’t help but refer to the prologue once in a while. Merry Freer's Doctor Doctor is unassuming in its narration of life events, and at the same time gripping in its honesty.