Monday, April 18, 2011
Review of Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
Author: Jane Eagland
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
From 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...
This novel really took me by surprise. At first it starts by switching back and forth between the present (the nineteenth century) and Louisa's/Lucy's past. Since the font was different for each time period this wasn't confusing at all. I have to admit the novel started off a bit slow, but once I was 100 pages in or so I was hooked.
The whole novel I was wondering if Louisa/Lucy really was crazy or if someone in her family committed her to Wildthorn asylum without her knowledge. I kept going back and forth, first believing in her and then thinking she was crazy and so on. This was definitely a great book to put down for awhile and ponder the situation while trying to put the clues together.
I loved the historical fiction component of this novel. It was fascinating to hear about the different prescriptions and treatments to the diseases from the nineteenth century. I also thought it was neat that there was some truth in this story...that there were actual asylums in the nineteenth century that women who were both sane and not-of-the-right-mind were committed to.
The ending was fabulous. I won't give away any spoilers but I can promise you that you will not see it coming. I was so shock and surprised (in a good way) multiple times during this story that I had to re-read parts.
This was one of the first psychological young adult mysteries I've read and it didn't disappoint. I give this novel ★★★★