Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Woman 99” as Want to Read:
Woman 99
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Woman 99

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,376 ratings  ·  603 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Woman 99, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,376 ratings  ·  603 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Woman 99
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
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 stars. A unique storyline of family, sisterhood and sacrifice.

Charlotte and Phoebe Smith are sisters and best friends. Growing up on their wealthy family estate, they share many childhood secrets and memories. After one too many socially unacceptable incidents, their parents send Phoebe to the local woman’s asylum, where they can ‘cure’ her unpredictable and unmanageable moods. Shocked and furious about the separation, Charlotte leaves her family to secretly register herself as an inmate at
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Julie (JuJu)
A thriller and an insane asylum. Yes please!!! This is a historical drama that shows how strong a sister’s bond can be.

What is a “madwoman”? It can be someone who is insane, but it can also be an unwanted wife, an inconvenient family member or even an epileptic. There were many reasons women were locked away in asylums by their husbands or other family members. I know I’ve felt a little “mad” at times, and probably would have been considered so during this time period.

Insane asylum’s and mental
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Captivating, Haunting, & Mystifying.

This tale will leave you breathless. . .

I can't resist historical fiction set in an asylum. It may seem macabre, and while it is, that piece of history is also heartbreaking. I don't think it is responsible to turn a blind eye to tragic or dark events and believe that they "didn't happen". They did happen and we must learn from history if history isn't going to repeat itself.

Charlotte loves her sister, Phoebe, dearly. While, Charlotte's behavior is often inapp
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Charlotte Smith has her life planned out perfectly; that is, until her sister is placed in an insane asylum. Charlotte’s parents committed her sister, Phoebe, to the asylum, and Charlotte knows from the start that something is going on beyond her sister being “mad.”

Charlotte risks everything and commits herself to the asylum, too. Not only does she put her life on hold, she has made a huge risk to her safety with these actions.

The heart of this novel is the historical exploration of these inst
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
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,
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. ...more
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
♥ 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
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
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
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
*2.5 stars

I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. It started off well. Late 1800's, where woman can be sent to an asylum simply for not complying with 'normal' conventions. You blink wrong and you can be sent away! Well, Phoebe has sad days and days where she's flying high, so her wealthy parents send her away. That leaves us with her sister Charlotte, who is engaged to be married to man she doesn't love & missing a sister she believes doesn't belong in an asylum. So she concocts a p
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 imprisoned
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
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
Not the strongest novel, nor the weakest nor the most memorable, but I enjoyed passing time with some of Woman 99. I guess that I was keen to read what Greer Macallister’s take on her inspiration of the 1880’s Nelly Bly story, and sane women locked away for their families’ or spouse’s self-serving reasons would look like, and it was a fairly outrageous story. It ended a tad too happily ever after, in light of the truly horrific nature of the underlying circumstances of what the real situation mu ...more
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
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
✨Brithanie Faith✨
4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

"....She's only a number now...."

Woman 99 by Greer Macallister follows Charlotte Smith as she leaves behind a privileged life- risking everything to become a nameless inmate in search of her sister who was committed to the infamous Goldengrove asylum before her. Set in the 1880's in San Francisco- this historical thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow Charlotte and uncover the dark secrets that are being kept inside the asylum walls.

I had no prior knowledge
Pat (not getting friend updates currently)
3.5 stars.

This is a hard review for me to articulate. I really enjoyed the book but it wasn’t perfect and I’m not sure why. Set in San Francisco around 1880, the story centres around two sisters brought up in genteel society with their mother’s expectations for ‘good’ marriages weighing heavily on them. Phoebe, at 22 has used up all her chances. In today’s world it is clear that she has something like schizophrenia but back then, her behaviour at times, was quite shocking to her very straight-la
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
Karen R
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
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Woman 99 is a stunning look at the lengths we will go to in order to protect (and rescue) our sisters and friends. It was also a sobering evaluation of mental health and its treatment in the U.S. The women in the fictional Goldengrove were deemed insane for a variety of reasons and the cures prescribed for them were inhumane and cruel.

At the heart of Woman 99 is a heartwarming story about the need to survive against all odds and the powerful bonds of female friendship.

Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
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
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A story about how the bond and love between sisters is so strong one will go to extreme lengths to save the other one. The book also highlights the mistreatment of Women in mental hospitals when they were privately owned and not well regulated.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Interview with Greer Macallister 4 24 Aug 20, 2019 06:30PM  
질롱코리아, 1회 서스펜아쉬움 남긴 이재곤 1 1 Nov 24, 2018 12:07AM  
성실 납세 캉테, 스타벅스· 1 3 Nov 23, 2018 11:15PM  
성실 납세 캉테, 스타벅스· 1 1 Nov 23, 2018 11:07PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Children's Blizzard
  • Home for Erring and Outcast Girls
  • The Quintland Sisters
  • The Exiles
  • The Last Year of the War
  • Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution's Women
  • Keeping Lucy
  • The Orphan Collector
  • The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
  • How We Disappeared
  • Learning to See
  • The Last Time I Saw You
  • In the Garden of Spite: A Novel of the Black Widow of La Porte
  • My Lovely Wife
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
  • The Third Daughter
  • A Stranger on the Beach
  • I Know Who You Are
See similar books…
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. Her novels GIRL IN DISGUISE (“a rip-roaring, fast-paced treat to read” - Booklist) and WOMAN 99 (“a nail biter that makes you want to stand up and cheer” - Kate Quinn) were inspired ...more

Related Articles

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
65 likes · 20 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »