Hot off the press at Macmillan is this fascinating and engaging first novel. It tells the story of seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove growing up in Victorian England. Louisa is disinterested in society, disinclined to marry and dreams of becoming a doctor. This unconventionality has devastating results as Louisa is committed to a mental asylum.
The novel starts slowly but builds up well and by half-way through I was hooked. I was fairly sure I’d pieced together the circumstances surrounding Louisa’s incarceration early on and that irritated me. However, I was fairly completely wrong!
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to mature teenage readers. Jane Eagland handles the mental asylum setting and plot well, I think. But I’m less convinced by the developing relationship between Louisa and Eliza, one of the asylum attendants. That all seems too facile and disconnected; the novel would have lost little without it. That said, this is well worth reading.