Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wildthorn (YA)

Wildthorn. Jane Eagland. 2010. September 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 352 pages.

The carriage jolts and splashes along the rutted lanes flooded by the heavy November rains.

Wildthorn is set in Victorian England.

Louisa Cosgrove is in for quite a shock. Someone has committed her to an insane asylum. Under the false name, Lucy Childs, Louisa is being held against her will, drugged against her will. Will anyone within the asylum believe her story? Will anyone believe that she is who she says she is? Louisa learns that one of the surest ways to prove you're insane is to try to prove to strangers just how sane you are.

There is someone who believes her story. Someone who comes to love her very deeply. Someone determined to help her escape.

Who is Louisa? She's a woman who dreams of more. She's a woman who does not believe in conformity. She's a woman who'd rather have a career, than a family. A woman who has little use for marriage and children. A woman who is undeniably attracted to other women, though she keeps this from her family, of course. The more her family tells her that she cannot possibly be a doctor (like her father), the more determined she is that she can and will succeed. But is being a nonconformist proof of insanity? Just why is she in Wildthorn?

The novel is told through a series of flashbacks. In alternating chapters, readers see defining moments in Louisa's life. We see her curiosity, her stubbornness, her independence, her determination. Does Louisa have the strength to survive even this? Does she have the resourcefulness to plan her escape?

Wildthorn is an almost novel for me. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. I'm not sure the synopsis on the back cover does it justice. "Louisa Cosgrove is Louisa Cosgrove--not Lucy Childs. Or is she?" Hinting that there could be an unreliable narrator. Like Louisa could be suffering a mental breakdown. But. Nothing is further from the truth. Louisa never questions her identity. There is a mystery in Wildthorn--but it is always the mystery of who locked Louisa away. Who in her life betrayed her...

The novel has strengths, but it is not flawless.

*Reviewed from an ARC

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Jeanne C. 11:16 AM  

Can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the review!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP