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.

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