Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight

This is part of a launch tour for Jo Robinson’s new book Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight.  Jo was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and still lives in SA with her husband Angus, a dog with an odd sense of humour, four birds, and some chickens.  Her stories are mostly about people, in the genre of science fiction / fantasy, but also literature and she is an accomplished short story writer.  I’m delighted to join in her launch party!

The story of Echos of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight:

Donna thought there was something wrong with her. That she was suffering from a mental illness that has caused her husband to despise her, distance himself from her, and cheat on her. She blames herself for the desolate, miserable thing that is her marriage and her life. Then she comes across a book that will change everything for her, and reading it, she discovers that there’s nothing wrong with her mind at all, but that there is something very wrong with her husband instead. Marco, she realises, is a malignant narcissist. A text book case.   He has a real and documented mental disorder, and that he’s been controlling, manipulating, and abusing her for decades. The sudden full knowledge of all that he’s purposely done to her enrages her. Not sure how to leave after thirty years of what she finally knows has been intentional mental and emotional abuse from him, and believing that she has nowhere to turn, being so physically isolated, she bides her time.

Then she meets and befriends a group of unusual people who share her passion for gardening, and so begins her journey to escape. She joins her new friends in their project to assist elderly people in old age homes care for their small gardens, as well as secretly supplying those suffering from painful and terminal illnesses with medicinal herb and plant remedies, including illegal plants such as cannabis. As weeks go by, she delves into her memories, relearns what it is to be respected, liked, and loved again, and slowly she formulates a plan to safely leave her dangerous husband. But unbeknownst to Donna, Marco is in serious trouble, and has desperate plans of his own, and absolutely no regard for her safety.

This is a work of fiction, but malignant narcissists really do exist, and it is a recognized mental illness. Unfortunately, many people never realize that they are involved with a narcissist, because their actions are so demonically bad as to be unimaginable and unbelievable, and so they spend their lives in misery, depression, fear, and isolation. If only by the accidental reading of a fictional story, I hope that this book will help even one person, unknowingly suffering narcissistic abuse, to realize that they don’t have to, and that it’s never too late to start over, be happy, be fulfilled, to love and care for yourself, and be truly loved and respected by others.

Do check out Jo and her other books on her blog:



7 thoughts on “Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight”

  1. Wow, very interesting, Noelle, especially given the subject matters it deals with. We need more works of fiction covering, and bringing to light, mental illnesses. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Happy to do so. Mental health is a huge issue here in NC as they close a number of psychiatric hospital in favor of “local” care – which means none.

  2. I am looking forward to reading Jo’s books. I have a feeling I’m going to love them! Why are there not enough hours in the day? But the books are in my queue for the first quarter of 2015.

    Thanks for publicizing Jo’s work, Noelle!

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