Esther dislikes Dr. Gordon, a young, successful man with what appears to be a perfect family. When she isn't cooperative with Dr. Gordon, he suggests to her mother that Esther would benefit from elctro-shock therapy. Esther undergoes one treatment, a harrowing, painful experience that leaves her terrified of the procedure. At this point, Esther's reasoning becomes more scattered and she becomes obsessed with suicide. After several unsuccessful or aborted attempts — slitting wrists, hanging, drowning — she wedges herself into the crawlspace of her house and takes dozens of sleeping pills. She is missing for several days and wakes up in a hospital. Later, she is moved to a state mental hospital.With the financial help of novelist Philomena Guinea, who funds Esther's college scholarship and
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