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Most Helpful Favorable Review
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
Amazing. No other words!
posted by Anonymous on February 26, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
It was okay...
posted by AnonymousTX on November 1, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 24, 2013
Wouldve loved the book even more if the love scenes hadnt been between girls....really? Sorry, but four out of five stars only seems fair!
0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 22, 2011
Interesting Historical Fiction
I seem to be having the best of luck with historical fiction these days, because right after reading Contagion, I stumbled across this one, and let me tell, you I'm so glad I did because Wildthorn is a fantastic, page-turning, and romantic tale of one girl's fight to break out of a place where she's not mean to be- not at all.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Wildthorn opens up the day Louisa Cosgrove is off to live at a new place where she's supposed to help one of her brother's friends around the house, but instead of landing at a welcoming house, she ends up a Wildthorn, a place for the mentally ill. Stripped of her clothes, her possessions, and basically everything grand to her, she's left with new, bland clothes, as well as a new name- Lucy Childs. Lucy Childs, as she's told, is a girl facing mental illness and is a threat to herself as well as others. Louisa knows there's something wrong with this, she's not mentally ill, not at all! Soon enough, she begins to develop a plan with a trustworthy, faithful nurse; it's a plan that will break her out of this tortuous place, but will it work? And what happens when Louisa falls into a surprising romance, unlike any other during her time? Only more pages and time will tell in this thoroughly immersing historical fiction that will have even the most reluctant of readers pleasantly surprised.
Louisa is a girl I liked from the start. She has spunk to her, spunk that leads to her being someone quite brave and brilliant, if I must say so myself. I loved the fact that she wanted to be a doctor rather than play dress-up and drink tea like most of the girls her age. I also liked that when everything was taken from her, she rose to the task and brought it back with even more than she gendered. Another character I really enjoyed reading about was Eliza. Eliza is a nurse Louisa begins to befriend as time goes on, and it was a friendship I truly reading about, because it developed Louisa (and Eliza of course) even more as characters.
Furthermore, Ms. Eagland did a fantastic job with the plot of Wildthorn. The setting she created with the actual Wildthorn was chilling to the bone, and even though it was sometimes tough to read about all the tragic things that happened to the girls when left to the hands of the workers, I respect Eagland for giving her readers a truthful look into the topic of mental illness institutions of this time. Adding to this, I enjoyed how Jane constantly had me guessing of how everything was going to end with all the twist and turns she kept introducing into the story.
And what I liked most about this story was that it had a realistic ending, and while I won't say more than that, I'm sure many other readers of Wildthorn will agree with me about that aspect.
In all, Wildthorn is yet another fantastic and memorable read for fans of historical fiction. I simply can't wait to see what Ms. Eagland has in store for us next!
Posted March 20, 2011
Anything but strait-laced!
Wildthorn threw me off-guard - I'm not sure what I had been expecting, but it was along the lines of something magical as the shiny, metallic pink cover suggested (at least in my mind). Even though there was no magic to be had, I still found myself quite entranced with Louisa's predicament of what has to be a horrible case of mistaken identity. The first half of the book alternates between Louisa's past and present - and the flashbacks serve as a way to get to know Louisa better as a precocious young woman who would rather play doctor with her dolls and learn how to prove if arsenic had been used to color stockings green. While the many memories confirm that Louisa is Louisa and not deranged in that regards, I was left to wonder how Louisa ended up at the asylum. Surely it is a mistake, but was it somehow connected with the strange lady companion who had been hired to bring her to a well-to-do London family - or did the betrayal run deeper along the lines of family? With great ease, Jane Eagland tackles the delicate issue of sexuality and gender inequality as well as the terrifying conditions of asylums back in the Victorian Age. I found Wildthorn absolutely riveting! It was such a stark difference from other books that I have read. I mean, how often do asylums get the spotlight in a book? Also, Wildthorn makes me appreciate how much more balanced society is, gender-wise, and the opportunities now available for women. Beautifully written, Wildthorn paints a drastic picture of what could happen to a forward-thinking Victorian girl who attempts to break free from the tightening corset of society.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2011
I Also Recommend:
An exceptionally engrossing read. The main idea of the story Louisa being shut away in an asylum under the name Lucy Childs was interesting and suspenseful enough to pull me in but then when it turns into a love story it takes an intriguing romantic turn which will keep you burning through the pages till the very end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I'd recommend it. :)
Posted December 15, 2010
A book I could not put down.
As soon as the carriage arrives at Wildthorn Hall, Louisa realizes that there's some mistake when she's told that she's not Louisa but Lucy Childs and is here to get treated. From there, Louisa has only to keep telling herself that she'll get out that she's Louisa in order to keep herself sane. This was a hard book to read where some of the characters especially Louisa's family, with the exception of Louisa, Eliza and Grace, were just weird and horrible, especially Weeks. Eventually Louisa escapes and learns the truth of who's responsible for putting her in Wildthorn in the first place and why. Kept turning page after page wanting to know how it'll all end. Louisa's a brave and strong willed character. She choose what she herself wanted to do with her life. The ending was good but in a way a little sad. Recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 23, 2010
review taken from One Book At A Time
I probably won't have read this one initially. But, it came up on netgalley and that was enough for me to request. I was really glad I did.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The story alternates between present day and things in the past. I had to pay attention to the dates of events in the past because the time frame is different. But, all events are keys to what is going on it the present. I was never confused though, probably because the setting of each is easy to pinpoint. The story was gripping and fast paced. I was never bored and very eager to figure out who had placed her Wildthorn and why. And, it turned out that I was completely wrong. I love being surprised by the way a story turns out.
I really enjoyed Louisa's character. I can't imagine being sent to an asylum and not having any clue as to why. Plus, having everyone insist that she's someone else. I'm surprised she actually didn't go crazy by the events. She keeps a pretty level head and is always thinking about the next step to getting out and figuring out what is going on. What she endured in the asylum would be enough to break anybody of the will to find out the truth.
The romance in this was very tastefully done. I knew that it fell into the LGBT category so I knew what to expect. But, I enjoyed watching Louisa discover that it didn't matter. I can't imagine a teen having those feelings in the 1800's. I imagine that it would have been catastrophic.
Posted July 8, 2010
Louisa Cosgrove is in trouble. On the way to stay with some friends of her older brothers, she finds the carriage stopped in front of an asylum instead. An asylum for mentally ill women, and they seem to think she's someone names Lucy Childs. Try as she might to convince them of their mistake, they just assume her "confusion" is all part of her mental condition.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Louisa was an oddity for her time. She wanted to be a doctor like her father in an era where females even being nurses was still frowned upon. As she tries to unravel the threads of her past and figure out how she ended up in the asylum, Wildthorn, we get to see the difficulties and joys of her life as she grew up. We also get a very intimate look into what asylum life was like - and it wasn't very pretty.
Louisa finds unexpected friends, and surprising enemies as she goes. I was very surprised when the betrayer of her trust is finally revealed and is forced to come to terms with what happened to Louisa.
While the story was interesting and moved along fairly well, there were times I had a little trouble believing in some of the characters, at times they seemed very static.
Posted July 5, 2010
I really did like this book. Louisa is a strong protagonist and she knows what she wants in life. The only problem, women aren't allowed many freedoms during this time. While Louisa thinks she is headed off to a friendly home to befriend a young lady she is really headed to an asylum where the head doctor is more worried about lining his pockets than caring for his patients. All along I thought I knew for sure what was going on in this book and then wham! I found out I had been wrong all along. I really like it when I'm wrong about where a book is going. This story was strong, had good characters, caught and held my attention, and had an original(to me anyway) plot. Word of warning, this book does have some romance between two young women. Not detailed but it is there. While this did not bother me at all I thought I might mention it for the younger audience and/or parents.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 1, 2010
Young Woman Defies Victorian Convention
In this book Louisa is a strong, independent young woman who does not want to follow convention and become a "lady" as her station demands. Her father was quite indulgent and loved the fact that Louisa wanted to follow in his footsteps even though at that time women were not allowed to be doctors. As she grows and becomes more and more discontent with her station, her secret slips out as to what she really wants to do with her life. With her father's death, she no longer has the support of her dream and falls under the "protection" of others trying to direct her life. She ends up in an asylum for the insane without any explanation as to why it was happening. Not only does she get stripped of her dreams, and freedom, she also loses her identity of her own name.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The mystery of who and why this was done to her is slowly revealed throughout the book. Some of the reasons are expected and some are not. I think that this mystery was well presented as well as to how the asylum affected Louisa. The only part I found unbelievable about the asylum was the lack of diseases within the walls. The did present a few, but in places like that at those times, an outbreak of one serious disease would run rampant throughout the whole place. In this book, it seemed confined to it's specific patients. Also, although the staff was abusive, I thought the abuse was light for the times. However, it is a YA book and I would shudder to think how it would be written if more accurate. Given those criticisms, they are light and do not interfere with the book as a whole. I also love the fact that Louisa does find love in the end, but it may be surprising to some. I hope not. To say more might spoil the ending so I will leave it there.
I give this book 4 stars. I think this was a pretty good YA book and I recommend it for those audiences. There is a slight mention of sex, but it was not graphic.
Posted November 10, 2014
No text was provided for this review.