Review Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

“Gothic, and sinister. One cannot fathom if the protagonist is mad or the object of a vile conspiracy.”

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Title:Wildthorn
Author:Eagland, Jane
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Pages:352

Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor’s daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labeled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself – and others – in order to be set free. And love may be the key…

Imagine growing up in Victorian times with a brother who loathed you, a mother who wished you were more girly, and a father who dotes on you and leaves you verily unprepared for life after he is gone. We meet Lousia Cosgrove on her way to a position as a companion for a rich young lady. Her family hopes this will teach Louisa to give up on her thoughts of becoming a doctor like her late father and become more of a lady. In essence to become marriageable.

Instead of arriving at a mansion Louisa is admitted to a mental hospital called Wildthorn Hall. Louisa is told she is mad, that her name isn’t even Louisa Cosgrove. Her name is Lucy Childs. That her family sent her to Wildthorn to heal. To remember who she truly is so she can go home.

Louisa is rocked mentally and abused physically by the brutish matrons in Wildthorn, save for one. Elisa is generally nice to Louisa even though she still calls her “Miss Childs”.

Wildthorn is a creepy Gothic Victorian tale of forbidden love, lesbian themes and the hope as a woman to be more than a tea stirrer. To be more than a breeding tool that supervises how much sugar the household has used in the past month. Louisa dares to love, dares to have a dream and for that she is committed to an institution as mad.

The question remains, is Louisa mad or is this all a conspiracy so vile from her family that she herself cannot fathom the motives.

If you like Jane Eyre, or Wuthering Heights I do so believe you will love Wildthorn Hall.

FTC Disclosure: This digital book was given to me for a short period by Netgalley at behest of the publisher.

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4 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    Victorian, gothic, asylum, yep this sounds like my cup of tea. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Gravatar

    I have trouble with books about mad people. Like the Bell Jar–uhg! So scary! After I finished that I felt like I was one step away from a lunatic asylum, myself.

  3. Gravatar

    I agree with heidenkind – books/movies, anything set in an insane asylum gives me the heebie jeebies!

  4. Gravatar

    [...] Reviews: Dear Author – B Pure Imagination – Recommends Bookalicious – 4.5/5 [...]

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