Louisa Cosgrove is Louisa Cosgrove--not Lucy Childs. Or, is she?
A horse-drawn carriage takes her to the wrong place: Wildthorn Hall, an asylum for the insane.
This must be a great misunderstanding. They strip her naked, of everything--undo her whalebone corset hook by hook. They take her identity. But she is still seventeen--still Louisa Cosgrove--isn't she?
To untangle the mysterious, wretched present, she remembers the past.
I wished I were a boy.
Locked away in the dingy bowels of the hall, she feels a fire burn inside her. She remembers her cousin. She remembers Papa.
I want to be a doctor.
She is determined to escape--and only love will set her free.
Character Development: 8/10
Overall Enjoyment: 8/10
Total Score: 61/70
Obtained: Bought second-hand.
Age Appropriate? PG-13
Cursing: Some, perhaps, but it's Victorian-style, so...
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: References to opium and alcoholism.
Sexual Content: Limited to one scene.
Disturbing Images/Violence: Gross abuse of patients, insanity, tales of rape, familial abuse and neglect.
Though it started off kind of slow, this book became a fascinating and wild ride through the Victorian era in the eyes of a high-society rebel. I doubted how much I would like Louisa at the start of the book, as her voice seemed at first to be kind of whiny and childish, but by the end I adored her spunk and determination. There is a big twist in her character that I felt was better executed here than most books, and I was slightly surprised to find that I loved the book all the more for it!
The one thing I wished was more developed in this book was the confusion of the heroine's identity. I wished she struggled with it more, perhaps questioned her sanity more, instead of struggling so completely against what they tell her. While yes, it is a testament to her character, I felt this would have added another layer of intrigue to this already intrigue-ridden book.
Still, the setting was fascinating, her choices as a character very well-made, and the plot exciting and infuriating. It's easy to believe that this has happened, perhaps hundreds of times, to unfortunate women in the Victorian era. And then the ending--so satisfying, so perfect. Just the right mix of reaching a resolution and compromise. Definitely a surprising, beautiful read. I recommend it.