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After long finding comfort in organization, introverted university librarian Andreas Hackett finds order abandoning her in Hinton's (The Arms of God) plodding novel. Suffering from depression, Andreas checks herself into Holly Pines, a psychiatric hospital. Therapy fails to elicit anything but Andreas's observation that the caregivers are more interested in their own agendas than her problems. Her turnaround conveniently occurs shortly before her insurance runs out, when she's placed in a room next to Lathin Hawkins, an elderly black prison inmate hospitalized for suicide attempts. A tentative conversation begun through adjoining room vents turns into an all-night catharsis as they share their darkest sorrows. Andreas recalls her transient childhood as the daughter of a single mother who frequently changed jobs and cities, and her guilt for not trying to save a cousin from a fatal fall when both were young. Lathin's burden is twofold: a black man's legacy of segregation and abuse, and the deeply personal regret of being unable to protect his daughter from abuse. The contrived happy ending mirrors Hinton's overly emotive style and makes for a disappointing, pedestrian read. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.