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.
Normally historical fiction isn’t my thing at all, but when I saw that this takes place in an insane asylum, I knew I had to give it a shot. Stories set in insane asylums are some of my most favorite things in the world.
Grace was awesome. She had been through absolute hell in her own home, but then had been shipped off to an insane asylum when her condition couldn’t be hidden any longer. The condition? Pregnancy. She kept a lot of secrets inside her mind. Secrets that would terrify anyone of sound mind.
She met Falsteed and Reed when the book first began, and they were both instrumental in getting Grace to safety. I really liked Falsteed from what we saw of him, however he was a bit creepy with how he handled certain things.
She was also incredibly insightful, she had an eye for detail. This was the reason among other things, that Dr. Thornhollow took an interest in her. Her work with Thornhollow gave her a purpose. She suddenly was considered useful, not someone to be carelessly tossed away when things didn’t happen the way they “should” have.
It took Grace awhile to trust other people. After all, she had been betrayed by the person who was supposed to protect her and love her. And now, with her gone, she lives in terror for her little sister, Alice. Grace isn’t able to protect her anymore, and in fact, she comes to find out that her sister believes that she is dead.
“Sometimes the loveliest places harbor the worst monsters.”
It takes her awhile to warm up to Nell & Elizabeth, but then she finally begins to let these other two young ladies in, and it’s beautiful. Watching her open up to them, even in small steps was awesome.
I loved the ending to this book. Watching Grace find her voice was so awesome to see. I wasn’t sure if she would actually find it. I wanted her to speak up for herself, and I was worried that she wouldn’t. She had Dr. Thornhollow, as well as other allies with her as she worked to find her voice, to villify the person who hurt her.
“Appearances are everything Grace. As long as no one suspects something, it didn’t happen.”
I fell in love with this book. It was the perfect read for October, and I am so glad I read this one when I did. I absolutely recommend this book. I am giving it 5 stars and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes creepy books.
About the Author
Mindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film my Stephanie Meyer’s Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Look for her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET in October of 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books. Mindy is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.
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