OVERRIDE

The Good Patient

A Novel

Kristin Waterfield Duisberg

St. Martin's Press

Brilliant, acerbic, funny, and relentless, Darien Gilbertson appears to have it all: a successful career, a husband who loves her absolutely, and all the material comforts of a New York life. But Darien is in trouble – on the run from her emotions, and from a past that resurrects itself in acts of self-mutilation she neither understands nor cares to explore. After years of good behavior, Darien is hurting herself again. And this time it’s so brutal that her husband, Robert, cannot help but recognize the woman he adores is unraveling before his eyes.

Darien has a history with therapists. She knows exactly what they want – and need – to hear. She has made a game of psychotherapy, spinning outrageous fictions, exposing her doctors’ vanities, knowing when to reveal just a little of the truth. When Robert brings her to Dr. Lindholm, she is ready. But in Dr. Lindholm Darien may have met her match: a caring psychiatrist with the patience and skill to see beneath her façade. At once intrigued and resistant, Darien engages Dr. Lindholm in a battle of wits, sure only her pride is at stake. When she stumbles instead upon a buried truth about herself the consequences are devastating, threatening her marriage, her identity, and what she understands about life and love.

 Kristin Waterfield Duisberg's The Good Patient is about interiors and exteriors, knowledge and perception, the treachery and triumph of memory. Written in razor-sharp, sparkling prose, it is a story that takes dead aim at a question we all fear: how well do we really know the people we love?

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From the inside out, these are my layers: bad, good, bad, good, and now--new--again bad. They attach beneath my skin, nested one inside the other like Matruschka dolls, anchored with a pin through each skull at the top. They ring like a bell, scream and peal, complain, when layers and outsides clash. Beneath the layers, there is nothing: unbounded emptiness like the equation of the universe inverted so that one equals zero.

I was born with just bad, in New York City in August, a twin, half dead, half orphaned. My mother told me the story once, in the hospital, how
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Kristin Waterfield Duisberg

  • Kristin Waterfield Duisberg is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the creative writing program at Boston University. She has worked for J.P. Morgan and Massachusetts General Hospital and currently lives in the Boston suburbs with her husband and two children. The Good Patient is her first book.
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The Good Patient

A Novel

Kristin Waterfield Duisberg

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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