Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Wildthorn by Jane Eagland




Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 350
Source: Publicist


Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove is determined to become a doctor. While it is certainly frowned upon in society, her father encourages her studies. Her mother on the other hand expresses her aversion, tea parties and social visits are the place for a young woman- not a classroom. When Louisa's father passes away, she can feel her dreams slipping away too. Her brother and constant competitor will never allow her to become a doctor. Her mother is slipping in and out of reality, unable to cope with the loss of her husband. Louisa is told that she will have to work as a companion for a well to do family. She's reluctant but willing, her relationship with her mother is dwindling and her brother is never home. When the carriage takes a strange turn, Louisa thinks nothing of it. The carriage stops, her traveling companion continues on and Louisa is confused. She's standing outside Wildthorn Hall, an asylum. Louisa is further bewildered when everyone keeps calling her 'Lucy Childs.' Louisa is sure this must be a terrible mistake, she must convince someone that she is not 'Lucy Childs.' She has no idea why she has been placed here, she has no idea who is paying for her stay, and she has no idea how to leave. It soon becomes clear that she has been placed here by someone, it wasn't a mistake. Someone close to Louisa is a heinous, cunning individual. Louisa is determined to figure out who is responsible for her admittance. Along the way Louisa faces deplorable conditions, many nights of opium induced sleep and is shocked by the mistreatment of the 'insane.' The harder she tries to escape, the more dire her situation becomes.


'Wildthorn' is a modern-day gothic tale set during Victorian times. It's one of those page-turning, unique and captivating stories. One you will put aside and be sad to leave the characters behind. The cover may draw you in, but the story keeps you hooked. Alternating between past and present, Jane Eagland transports her readers to the Victorian era and introduces Louisa, an uncompromising, head-strong woman. A young woman living in the wrong era. Louisa is smart, resourceful and determined and readers will be rooting for her every step of the way. 'Wildthorn' is a distinct young-adult, historical fiction read. I found Louisa's sexuality very interesting, and was happy to see this explored. Jane Eagland did a great job of handling Louisa's burgeoning sexuality, her confusion and repulsion was very understandable given the era. It's hard growing up when your brother hates you, you can't possibly live up to your mother expectations, and your father gave you everything but didn't prepare you for life after he was gone. Is Louisa, Louisa or is she Lucy? To find out, you'll have to pick this one up yourself. Highly recommended!

11 comments:

  1. I have not seen this one before. I love gothic and historical fiction so I should enjoy this one, thanks for the review!

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  2. I like the sound of this one! adding it to the TBR list now! thanks.

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  3. I really enjoyed this story too! I always like it when I'm not certain whether or not I can trust the narrator, and Louisa was definitely someone I wanted to trust but couldn't quite let myself do it. I really liked the subtle romance aspect of it as well:) Fabulous review!

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  4. I read another review of this one recently and the premise sounded great, so I am thrilled that you loved it so much! It definitely sounds like a page turner.

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  5. I've had this one on my wish list for a while and am so glad to be reminded how good it is!

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  6. I have been wanting to read this one for such a long time, and am glad to hear that it is great! I need to add it to my list and grab a copy. I bet it would be an excellent read for me. Great review today!

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  7. This one sounds SO COOL! I love books set in the Victorian era and the whole corset idea on the cover is really clever! I never really understood how people could wear them (because they sound really uncomfortable) but I love the way they look anyways! x)

    Awesome review, Mrs. Q! This book sounds so gothic and original, which both add up to a great book in my opinion! :)

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  8. I wasn't sure about this one, but your review has peaked my interest. I love historical reads and the Victorian era is so interesting, especially when you have a protagonist like that! Thanks for the great review.

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  9. I honestly do not think I could read it because I would get so mad at the person who placed her there

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  10. I've seen this around and it sound good. Haven't read much historical young adult so this could be fun.
    Happy to hear you liked it!

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  11. I love the cover of this book. Honestly, you had me at modern gothic.

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