The Education of Mrs. Bemis by John Sedgwick
A Novel

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A dead body floating by a pier. An elderly woman curled up on a bed in a department store. A psychiatrist searching for her own identity. These are the pieces of the puzzle that, in John Sedgwick's masterful novel of psychological suspense, begin to come into focus when Madeline Bemis is referred to the treatment of Dr. Alice Matthews at Montrose Psychiatric Hospital.

Mrs. Bemis's treatment gradually peels back the layers of a disturbing past whose shameful secrets and hidden sorrows stem from the war years of the 1940s—and reveals an unexpected link to the floating corpse. Mrs. Bemis's awakening sparks an intimacy between the two women that goes beyond an ordinary doctor/patient relationship—but also makes it clear that Mrs. Bemis's recovery, and perhaps even her safety, depends on quickly coming to terms with her secret history.


About John Sedgwick

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Sedgwick is part of the Sedgwick clan of Massachusetts, whose ecletic members have included an early Speaker of the House, Andy Warhol protege EdieSedgwick, and actress Kyra Sedgwick.
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 404 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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As Alice slowly pieces together the fragments of Madeleine’s recollections, she becomes aware of another person who seems to be haunting Madeleine as well: a younger man named Brendan, who was recently found by swimmers, floating dead in the ocean.

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Publishers Weekly

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The personal values of what could be called Upper Boston are as important as the two main characters—Mrs. Bemis and Alice Matthews, the young psychiatrist who tries to help her—in journalist and author Sedgwick's engaging and warm if finally confounding novel.

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