Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Release date: February 6th 2009
" 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... "
"Wildthorn is written by Jane Eagland, a former English teacher who quit her job to take her writing seriously. Eagland had her debut in 2005 with the book "Second best", an illustrated children's book. "Wildthorn" came out in 2009, and in 2010 Eagland published "Whisper my name". "Wildthorn" is inspired by a true story.
Louisa Cosgrove thinks she is on her way to a family called the Woodvilles, to be a companion to their eldest daughter, when she instead is taken to an asyluk: Wildthorn. The people working here insists that her name is not Louise Cosgrove, but Lucy Childs. There is no explanation as to why she has been brought to Wildthorn and not to the estate of the Woodvilles. The story is set in the Victorian era.
Louisa Cosgrove is not a typical Victorian girl. Almost every Victorian girl dreamed about marrying, that was their ambition in life: be married to a wealthy man. Louisa on the other hand dreams about being a doctor and her father, who is a doctor, starts to educate her. Louisa is curious, has a great mind and is often misunderstood by her mother. Her brother Tom is jealous of her, I think it is because she is a daddy's child.
I picked up this book mainly because of two reasons:
1) The cover is gorgeous'
2) The novel is set in the Victorian era
I was instantly brought into the story. The book is an easy read, and there is always something happening. You can easily finish it in one of two sittings ( I did)
The book is written in present tense. I must admit that I am not particulary fond of that, but lucky it didn't ruin the story this time. There is a lot of mystery going on: why has Louisa been brought to Wildthorn? Is there some kind om mistake? I had to keep on reading.
The way the people were treated in the asylums of the day, are horrendous. They were subjected to all kinds of brutality and Louisa gets to experience this first hand.
As the story unfolds, we are offered glimps into Louisa's past that may shed a light on the mystery in this book and why she has been brought to "Wildthorn". I had not read a lot about this book before, so a lot of the things that are revealed came as a big surprise to me. The book reminded me of Sarah Water's books, if you like her stories you will love Wildthorn.
All in all this was a great read, which I highly recommend. I would love to read more from this author.
Visit the author's website here!
Other reviews for this book:
Escape in a Book
A Trillian Books