Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins Publishers
Release date: October 6, 2015
Source: Advance Readers Copy
Audience: Young Adult
Good Reads Description:
Grace Mae knows madness.
She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.
When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.
My thoughts on this book:
When I picked up the book to see if I might want to read it, I became maddened myself. I know all about the stories of Nellie Bly's investigations into Mental Institutions of the times, the conditions
along with their gross misuse as places to put those unfortunate souls that for one reason or another didn't fit into the "norm" of society. Therefore, I became interested to see how a YA fiction book would touch of a time period and subject that is just too infuriating to be believed. However, this book does an amazing job of bringing all of those injustices to life through Graces eyes while giving the reader a mystery to untangle and demons, both real and psychological, to slay.
At first, we find Grace a victim, but it isn't long before she finds the strength she needs to claim her life for her own. She survives loss, betrayal, and countless other dangers to become a version of herself that can not only protect herself, but those she holds dear.
I really enjoyed diving into the history of this book. It wasn't dry or hard to read. The story was well integrated in the time period, it's society and situations. It made me angry, but that anger also added a bit more excitement when Grace began to fight back. I was completely in her corner throughout the whole book.
I think this would transfer to film well. As a period piece, it is a standard production. The interest may be there with the political debates that are going on at the present time. There is a strong undercurrent of the abuse of power in this book. As we go to choose our leaders for the next 4 to 8 years, taking a look at what has happened in the past when power isn't used well might be a popular idea.
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