“The year is 2008. I am, as I have been for the past two hundred and fifty-one years, ninety-eight years old.”
Those are the opening lines of Pamela S. K. Glasner's Finding Emmaus, a story which takes the reader on a harrowing 350-year fictional yet factual journey through the history of treatment for the mentally ill, eventually exposing a multi-billion dollar conspiracy between the pharmaceutical industry and the US Food and Drug Administration, a conspiracy in which millions of Americans are being misdiagnosed and drugged for no other reason than the enormous income they generate.
Dark, meticulously researched, and deeply disturbing, the story is simultaneously experienced through the lives of two otherwise-ordinary people, living three centuries apart, who discover in adulthood that they are not mentally ill, but are in reality exceptionally gifted. Because of that and because of the appalling things that happen to each of them during the time they believe themselves to be ill, they embark on personal journeys — Frank in the 1600’s and Katherine in present day — actually finding a way to transcend time and death, meet each other, and then work together to save millions of others who’ve been ostracized from society and victimized because they, too, have been erroneously labeled mentally ill.