Author: Jane Egland
Pages [ebook]: 359
Opening Lines: The carriage jolts and splashes along the rutted lanes flooded by the heavy November rains. Through its grimy window, all I can see of the unfamiliar Essex countryside are bare hedgerows, the skeletons of trees, looming out of the morning mist.
Favorite Character: Eliza
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…
I read this with NetGalley. I have to say, I enjoyed it more than I thought it would. It dragged a bit in the beginning, but I think it was necessary to set the story. I liked how chapters of the present were alternated chapters of what happened in the past to lead to this. The mystery of it, while not so shocking it couldn’t have been discovered, surprised me. I liked how it was so well thought out.
Louisa is a semi-independent character. She wants to have her own life, to become a doctor like her father, but won’t leave and pursue it on her own. She doesn’t like to even mention the issue to those in her immediate family. I liked Louisa for having her own goals and not promptly giving up and settling for a loveless marriage. Though she’s a little timid, she stands firm for what she wants, and I applaud her for that.
The descriptions of a Victorian psychiatric hospital were greatly creepy and scary, just how I would picture it. The depiction of setting was fabulous, and I felt as if I was right there with her.
After the slow start, the book moved along at a much faster pace. Wildthorn gets 5/5 stars. Definitely recommended!