The main character, a woman who eventually chooses the name Harriet, is in a mental hospital as the book opens. She's suffered a nervous breakdown at age 15, after her brother's death. She can't bear to see her parents when they try to visit, and her recovery seems a tenuous hope. She's been there seven years and her doctor seems to be getting impatient with her. She begins thinking about escape...then miraculously circumstances conspire to make it a possibility, one she takes advantage of.
The smallest scenes are full of import, and though the story seems quiet, with Harriet continually testing herself, there is a lot going on. Harriet moves from hopeless to radiantly hopeful, and it is wonderful.
Full Review at Indextrious Reader http://indextrious.blogspot.ca/2011/06/outward-room.html