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Woman 99

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  153 reviews
A vivid historical thriller about a young woman whose quest to free her sister from an infamous insane asylum risks her sanity, her safety and her life

Charlotte Smith's future is planned to the last detail, and so was her sister's - until Phoebe became a disruption. When their parents commit Phoebe to a notorious asylum, Charlotte knows there's more to the story than madn
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  281 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Charlotte and Phoebe Smith had a privileged upbringing in Nobb Hill in San Francisco. Their Mother planned their lives and had high hopes for both girls - hopes that they would marry well. But Phoebe began exhibiting "behaviors" these bouts of mania that were harder and harder to control until one day her parents had her committed to Goldengrove, an asylum for women... madwomen. Women who may in fact be mentally ill as well as women who did not comply with the norms of society, women who were in ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness." (Allen Ginsberg)

Perhaps defining "madness" was as elusive in 1888 as it is in today's complicated world that seems to hand you a particular life roadmap from birth and beyond.

Charlotte Smith has been raised within the elite finery of Nob Hill in this affluent section of San Francisco. She and her sister, Phoebe, serve as mere pawns on their mother's gameboard that will assure them fine marriages of convenience. Phoebe has never danced to th
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019
My third book by this author and I have enjoyed all of them equally.

Woman 99 is set mostly in an asylum for women in San Francisco in the late 1800's. The author has a talent for telling historical fiction as it was, with plenty of real fact spiced with her own fiction. In this book the main character, Charlotte, gets herself committed to the asylum in order to help her sister who is already there. From this we get to see how patients at that time were treated for their problems in ways that see
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Two society daughters - Phoebe who has screaming fits and Charlotte who is to marry a wealthy socialite she doesn’t want to marry.

When Phoebe is put in an institution for her fits, her sister, Charlotte, can't deal with having her sister inside so she makes herself seem mad and gets herself inside the institution too. Charlotte blames herself for Phoebe's placement.

Once Charlotte is inside, just like Nellie Bly, she sees the horrors and wonders how she will every get out. It was easy to get in,
Kate Quinn
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really terrific. I got an ARC of this one to consider for a cover quote, and I will definitely be giving one.

Updated with my cover quote!

WOMAN NINETY NINE is a gorgeous ode to the power of female courage. A resourceful Gilded Age heiress feigns madness and inveigles herself into an insane asylum, determined at all costs to rescue her fragile, unjustly committed sister, only to realize the horrors of the madhouse may keep them both prisoner forever. But when alliances are forged among the asylum
Diane S ☔
DNF at 20%. Although I'm usually attracted to settings in an asylum, the story does have to make sense. The beginning of this book just doesn't ring true to me. It may not bother you, it dint bother many other readers, so it's best to read yourself snd find out.
♥ Sandi ❣
4 solid stars Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Published March 5, 2019

Another great story from one of my favorite authors. Macallister has a flare for writing, like the tension in the air when a thunderstorm is brewing. With a practiced pen she brings you right into the story. Reading one of her books is like flowing through well worn grooves, expecting the best and knowing you will get it.

Two, well to do, sisters on the adventure of t
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
3.5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

A story of the bond between sisters that takes one far from their comfortable home in San Francisco to the darkness of an asylum to rescue the other. Woman 99 quickly caught my attention as protagonist Charlotte creates an elaborate plan to rescue her older sister, Phoebe, from Goldengrove Asylum. Once she's inside, Charlotte learns of the conditions that inmates face while also grapplin
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Wow, very impressive historical fiction alert!

San Francisco 1888. Two sisters. Phoebe, fierce, outspoken, manic-depressive. Charlotte, calm, composed, obedient. Neither of them really fits the high society they grow up in. When Charlotte is forced to marry a man she doesn't love, her sister stands up for her. As a result she is put in the woman's asylum of Goldengrove, just outside San Francisco. Charlotte now has only one goal: getting her sister back home.
With a sudden rebel streak she gets he
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Woman 99 is a gorgeous portrayal of the power of women's courage and strength.

Two sisters Phoebe and Charlotte Smith grew up in San Francisco in the 1800's. Both sisters had issues with growing up in their high society. Charlotte is forced to marry a man that she doesn't love and her sister Phoebe stands up for her. In turn, Phoebe is placed in an insane asylum. Charlotte is devastated and her only goal is to get her sister back.

In order to get her sister back, Charlotte gets her self committe
Lisa Wolf
What a read! In Woman 99, we first meet Charlotte Smith as the pampered daughter of a social-climbing family living in 1880s San Francisco. Daughters are trained from childhood in etiquette and comportment so they can eventually serve their purpose -- helping their families climb higher through an advantageous marriage. Charlotte is proper and well-behaved and subservient to her mother's wishes...
That was what all my education had been leading to. All the lessons and lectures. We were trained in
The Lit Bitch
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book’s description immediately resonated with me. I love all things turn of the century, plus I also love reading about early science and medicine.

One day, one of my fellow book blogger friend and I were discussing how much we wanted to read this book. In the end she emailed the publicist for this book and shamelessly begged for an ARC for the both of us.

Which we were so happy to receive! This book was high on my list of TBR and I was eager to get to reading. As soon as it arrived I set asi
She’s been reduced to a number.

On a warm September day in San Francisco in 1888, twenty year-old Charlotte Smith walks to the edge of the pier and jumps. Why? Because, she wants to end up in Goldengrove – the mental asylum her sister, Phoebe (bi-polar, possible schizophrenia), was sent to by their parents. She naively believes that if she informs the doctors that they are both sane, she’ll be able to convince them that a mistake has been made, and that they will be free to leave. But, Charlotte
Carol (Reading Ladies)
Thanks to #NetGalley #Sourcebooks for a free copy of #woman99 by @theladygreer in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What would you do for your sister?

In this histfic thriller, two sisters living a life of privilege suddenly find themselves in a dire situation. Their parents have committed Charlotte’s older sister to an insane asylum because of her pattern of mood swings and a recent emotional outburst. Charlotte is on a quest to rescue her sister from the insane asylum. Ins
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs.

Many thanks to SourceBooks and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this novel!

As soon as I saw this cover and read the synopsis of Woman 99, I had to have it. I love "crazy" characters or those who think outside of the box. The idea of a book set in an asylum was something I've never read before but was eager to get into, especially a historical novel which drew from horrifying real-world experiences. I also love the idea of people being wrongly impris
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book about two sisters who love each other unconditionally.. The older one, Phoebe, has some problems but will do anything for her younger sister, Charlotte. Charlotte is very much smitten with Henry Sidwell and is hoping that they may get married. But her parents have a different plan. She’s to marry his older brother, George. Phoebe goes to bat for her sister and love but ends up being sent away to a mental institution for her “fits”.

This story takes place in the late 1800
Davida Chazan
Greer Macallister’s third historical fiction novel is once again one that includes elements of a thriller and those of an action novel, all while including the psychological aspects of the mentally ill and their treatment during the latter part of the 19th century. Take a look at what I thought of this novel in my newest #bookreview on my blog here.
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
This book is touted as a 'vivid historical thriller' and was inspired by the famous investigative reporter, Nelly Bly who, in the late 19th century, snuck into an insane asylum to report on the atrocities occurring within its walls. Woman 99 is written in a similar vein, but I wouldn't call this a thriller. It lacked the tension and suspense of a thriller. But it is a solid historical fiction read with its focus on how mental health 'therapies' were inflicted on the female residents - many of wh ...more
Paula DeBoard
Out today!

Although the first half of the book seemed slow at times, the second half more than made up for it. A compelling look at the mistreatment of society’s “problem women” in the early part of the last century.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an early copy of this book.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a captivating tale of women in an asylum in the late 1800s & the mistreatment that they all endured. WOW!! I was immediately invested in the characters. There was sadness, deceit, & at times abuse, BUT, there was so much strength, women supporting each other, love, passion, & last but not least, resolution. I LOVE Historical fiction, & this DID NOT dissapoint.
Jenni Walsh
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fittingly, as Charlotte sank deeper and deeper into the asylum, this book tightened it's grasp on me -- until we reached the conclusion, which was the most satisfying ending I've read in a while.
Kate Vocke
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
I'm going to start this right off by saying the chick in this book is cray-cray!! I don't care what the synopsis says about Charlotte voluntarily entering a loony bin solely to find here sister - just THAT alone, makes you batty in my book! I don't have a sister, but I have best friends I consider sisters... and nope!! Sorry guys. You're on your own. Enjoy the crazy pills cause my tush is sitting right here til you get out on your own!

So, that's where this story finds us - in the super creepy Go
How far would you go to save one you loved?

Charlotte sacrificed her freedom to save her sister Phoebe. She thought it would be an easy venture, made at the spur of the moment. Little does she know the ride she will be taken on.

Woman 99 was an engaging story that gave vivid descriptions of life inside an asylum. With flashbacks to the past, as well as twists I didn’t anticipate this book kept my attention, piqued my curiosity as to the outcome.

There were times when the emotional energy seemed to
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Inspired by the true story “Ten Days in a Mad-House” by Nellie Bly. Woman 99 is the number that is given to Charlotte Smith upon entering the Goldengrove asylum of her own free will in order to break out her sister Phoebe, placed there by their parents. Although there are numerous flashbacks, the bulk of the story takes place inside the asylum.The dehumanizing conditions and pathetic methods of ‘healing’ are hard to read but patients’ ingenuity, camaraderie and survival mechanisms are believable ...more
Karen Kay
I received this from in exchange for a review.

Charlotte Smith's wealthy parents commit her beloved sister Phoebe to the infamous Goldengrove Asylum. Charlotte knows there's more to the story than madness, she risks everything and follows her sister inside.

Nicely told and well written story of sisterly love, the injustices of the time and redemption. Some great quotable quotes. "A woman's mind is a powerful weapon. She had better use hers brilliantly". Good book.

Wendi Lee
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've always been interested in non fiction accounts of mental institutions. In high school I read Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, and then Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel. It kind of went from there. Woman 99 is a fictional account of asylums during that time period, but it didn't make it any less interesting.

Phoebe cannot behave as a young socialite woman should, so one night her parents ship her off to a "genteel" mental asylum catering to both the rich and the destitute. Her younger sister,
This book is filled with courage and strength. The women in this book are strong because they need to be. They stand up for what they believe.

Greer has written an emotional roller coaster of a book. She has done her research so that you could know what happened to women when they became unwanted or not needed. These asylums were scary places and Greer paints the picture so well you will be drawn into Goldengrove.

Greer also created such vivid characters. Each of them is strong in their own way.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book!

Woman 99 is the story of two society sisters in historic San Francisco, Charlotte and Phoebe, who share an incredible bond with each other. When Phoebe gets sent to a local asylum for both some mental health issues and for sticking up for Charlotte,
Charlotte is filled with guilt that she would be stuck in such a place unfairly. Charlotte makes the ultimate sacrifice, and does what she can to be sent into t
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for an advance e-galley for honest review.

3.5ish stars, rounded up. In many ways, Woman 99 is a reminder of how dangerous it could be, historically, to be a woman. As Charlotte discovers when she goes "undercover" at an asylum to rescue her sister, many of the women there are have been sent there as they are "inconvenient" for their family or husbands. Some claim they were sent there for wishing to pursue higher education, some are there because their husb
Theresa Smith Writes
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
“Though I had leapt into the water of the Bay not intending to die, it easily could have been my fate. Intending a thing had nothing to do with whether it came to pass.”

What an interesting story this turned out to be. I have always been drawn to the history of mental asylums and Greer Macallister has woven a lot of historical detail into this novel, particularly regarding the state of mental asylums, the type of treatments, the powerlessness of women and the ease with which they could be committ
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Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister earned her MFA in creative writing from American University. Her debut novel THE MAGICIAN'S LIE was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection. It has been optioned for film by Jessica Chastain's Freckle Films. Her novel GIRL IN DISGUISE, also an Indie Next pick, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which calle ...more
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