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Woman 99

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  57 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
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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  • Woman 99 by Greer Macallister
    Woman 99
    Release date: Mar 05, 2019
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    4.02  · 
    Rating details
     ·  94 ratings  ·  57 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
    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
    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
    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.

    Charlotte finds that the women inside this institution are not treated very well at all, and it is di
    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
    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.
    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.

    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.
    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,
    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
    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
    Vikki Patis
    Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Woman 99 is a brilliant exploration into female insanity, and the horrific conditions in which thousands of women lived during the 1800s (and beyond). Set in a fictional asylum, the author notes at the end that every method of "treatment" described is indeed one that was actually used at some point in history, and this knowledge lends an even stronger sense of unease to the reader.

    I have a macabre interest in this period, particularly the exploration of female insanity, and how so-called expert
    Terri M.
    Wow! What a compelling read. Charlotte is a strong character and one to be admired. Her goal of saving her sister is noble. Her discoveries heartbreaking. I loved her reveries the most. They tied the past and present events together and helped quicken the passage of time. Overall, another strong historical fiction novel from Greer Macallister.

    I received the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
    Heather Fineisen
    Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it
    A bit slow at first but once the characters are fleshed out, the plot picks up. Charlotte gets herself committed to a private insane asylum where her mentally ill sister is. The conditions are questionable to poor. To thicken the plot, Charlotte' s parents hope to marry her to the older son of the family who owns the asylum. Charlotte pines for the younger son. Charlotte digs into her reserve of strength to get put in the asylum, but can she get out. Filled with the abuses of the time but also n ...more
    May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
    In the Year of Our Lord, 1880, Phoebe and Charlotte Smith were living a comfortable life on Nob Hill in San Francisco. Their parents were enjoying money and prestige, having two daughters of marriageable age. Phoebe, however, had lately been exhibiting irrational manic/depressive behavior, which was harder and harder to control, and which finally compelled these parents to commit her to Goldengrove, an asylum for madwomen.

    Horrified, Charlotte plots her own admission to the asylum, intending to
    Sherri Lewis
    Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    *** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review

    Phoebe struggled with what we would now know as being bipolar. Rather than let her live at home and possibly disrupt her younger sister's opportunities to wed, her parents ship her off to Goldengrove Asylum. Charlotte can't bear the thought of her sister in that place, so she fakes a suicide attempt in order to be committed there as well. Then Charlotte begins plotting to find a way out of there for the both of the
    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.

    Shannon Dyer
    Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2019, arc
    Round up to 4.5 stars. Intriguing! Review to come at AAR closer to publication.
    Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I thought Woman 99 was a pretty good read. I am giving it four and a half stars. I recommend it to other readers.
    Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
    I think it’s a mistake to market this book as a historical thriller – I found it to be much more slightly edgy historical women’s fiction. I enjoyed it and it’s subject matter, but felt that it was a probably a mild account of an asylum and more paced like historical fiction.

    Charlotte and Phoebe are sisters with a deep bond. That’s why Charlotte cannot let it go when her sister is committed for her manic-depressive symptoms. Set in the 1880s being committed to an asylum is even more sinister. B
    Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: fiction
    In 1880, 2 young girls, Charlotte and Phoebe are living a sheltered life as the daughters of a prestigious family. When Phoebe exhibits a mental disorder, (seen is shameful) the family secretly whisks her off to a mental institution. But the bond between sisters is stronger than any chain or building, (or rigid mother) and Charlotte has a plan to bring Phoebe home and expose the institution as a warehouse of inhumanity. For readers who liked The Inconvenient Wife by Megan Chance, historical fict ...more
    Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
    A Little Background
    The real Nelly Bly is mentioned throughout this book, particularly as an inspiration to Charlotte. Bly was famous for her “stunt journalism” which included going undercover as a patient in order to investigate the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island in New York in 1887. Bly’s initial desire was to find out for herself that “the most helpless of God’s creatures” were in fact being properly cared for in facilities of this type. What Bly discovers is that most of the wom
    Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Clear your calendar before reading this one. Truly. It is extremely hard to put down.

    Greer Macallister’s third novel, Woman 99, will take your breath away, break your heart, put it back together again, give you an adrenalin rush and will leave you with a sense of community with all women who have come before.

    In Woman 99, we meet Charlotte Smith, a young woman betrothed to a man she doesn’t much like in order to cancel her father’s business debts. It’s the late 1800s in San Francisco, and like ot
    Kelsey Sporrong
    Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: january-to-read
    Charlotte Smith and her sister Phoebe live a comfortable life on Nob Hill in San Francisco. Their mother has been working tirelessly to plan their futures, which will involve marrying men who will help solidify their social status. That is, until Phoebe’s mood swings become harder and harder to hide from the outside world. In a drastic turn of events their parents decide to commit Phoebe to an infamous asylum for the “curable insane”. Charlotte is left heart broken and reeling before she resolve ...more
    Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

    I had this on my TBR for awhile, and I honestly didn't know what to expect. Then I picked it up and I COULD NOT SET IT DOWN. This is one of those stories that is so relentlessly unique, intriguing and captivating that you can't help but want to burn through it all in one sitting.

    Set in the late 1800's, a young woman decides to get herself admitted into the insane asylum that her parents sent her sister to, in an effort to find her and bring her home. Her plan is obviously not
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

    The premise of this book sounded great, but the execution fell a bit flat for me. Don’t get me wrong: overall it was a good book, and it’s definitely worth a try if you are interested in the subject. However, from the blurb I was expecting it to be more of a historical mystery, while it really wasn’t. There were some mysterious things at the beginning which were unraveled later, but there weren’t shock
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I ended up enjoying this book more than I thought I was going to, but it took me a little while to get there, probably about the half way point before it really took off. Charlotte throws herself off a pier to get herself committed to an asylum after her sister Phoebe (probably bi polar I from the way her symptoms are described in the book) has intervened to stop Charlotte's marriage to a man Charlotte doesn't love. Phoebe has embarrassed the family publicly multiple times and her mother finds s ...more
    Christine Antosca
    Feb 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
    1/5 Stars for Woman 99, a fictional novel by Greer Macallister that takes the reader back to a time when horrible experiments were being done to women who were in mental hospitals and got away with performing such acts.

    This book couldn’t hold my attention at all, not even for a tiny bit of the amount of time that I read it. The pacing was all off going back in time to recent without any transition. And no action happened until well into the book. I prefer books that get into the action within th
    Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I was pleasantly surprised by this book! While we’re off to a bit of a slow start, you’re immediately pulled in by Charlotte’s story. What did she do that had her sister sent to the asylum? Will she get her out in time? Who is she engaged to? What will happen if they do get out?

    The plot was a page turner (rather than the pace, but what can you expect when most of a book takes place between four walls?), and I couldn’t wait to find out more about Charlotte and the unlikely friendships that she ma
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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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