Debut author Mitchell brings the courageous, determined Nellie Bly to vivid life in this fictionalized account of one of Bly's most daring escapades: her ten days in the notorious asylum at Blackwell's Island. Mixing known history with intriguing speculation, Mitchell depicts the horrific conditions of the asylum, Bly's ambitious rise as a newspaperwoman, and the magnetic draw of forbidden love with equal skill. -Greer Macallister, USA Today best-selling author of The Magician's Lie and The Arctic Fury
Mitchell takes us on a journey through the gates of hell to a place as mesmerizing as it is dark. A compelling read for anyone with an interest in Victorian history. -Pam Lecky, author of The Lucy Lawrence Mystery Series
This vivid, enthralling novel of daredevil reporter Nellie Bly's undercover exposé of the abuses at Blackwell's Island Asylum for Women took me by the throat and never let go. Nellie Bly's ambitions, talents, pugnacity, and huge heart shine throughout. A Feigned Madness is a knockout. -Kim Taylor Blakemore, author of The Companion and After Alice Fell
A riveting tale of a female daredevil who risked all for ambition in Gilded Age New York. Mitchell's Nellie Bly is a captivating heroine whose suspenseful story inspires even as it intrigues. -award-winning novelist and journalist Ann Shortell
A page-turning thrill ride through an often overlooked historical atrocity, A Feigned Madness vividly recounts the horrors of Blackwell's Island and the mistreatment of its inmates. As a reader, I could really feel Nellie Bly's tenacious thirst to see them have justice. -USA Today best-selling author Nicole Evelina
In Feigned Madness by Tonya Mitchell, we meet Elizabeth Cochrane as an ambitious young woman trying to make a name for herself as a journalist, something very few women had been able to accomplish. She has high hopes and pushes her way into the World, Pulitzer's newspaper, and slowly convinces the powers that be to give her a chance. Elizabeth will do whatever it takes, however it takes to do it. Elizabeth is given a pen name that will long be remembered - Nellie Bly. As Nelly fights with all that is in her to succeed, her first journalistic test will be to get herself into Blackwell's Island asylum. Elizabeth passes the test after being examined by several doctors and is admitted. Knowing her stay will only be for a short time before the newspaper comes to rescue her, she believes she can endure her stay.
You must read for yourself what this courageous young lady endures, what she finds, and how she handles it. This amazing feat gets Elizabeth the job she so badly wants and changes the path of journalism forever. Along the way, Elizabeth finds love, joy, sadness, friendship and so much more. A Feigned Madness took me on an incredible journey back to the Victorian era of the late 1800s. If you enjoy historical fiction with real historical people and events thrown in, then this is a must-read for you. I loved A Feigned Madness and applaud Tonya Mitchell on her first novel. I found it impossible not to love Elizabeth, aka Nelly, and wanted to go back in time to meet her. I urge you not to pass up A Feigned Madness for you will not be disappointed.
Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite