Jessi's Reviews > Wildthorn

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
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's review
Sep 16, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: glbt, historical-fiction, teen

** spoiler alert ** First line: "The carriage jolts and splashes along the rutted lanes flooded by the heavy November rains."

Wildthorn is a combination of Gothic novels and Old Skool Romance. I did enjoy it, although the reading experience was not life changing or particularly unique. I picked it up because I love to read about the history of psychology and mental illness. I am frightened, disgusted, and strangely intrigued by all the crazy treatments that the professionals of the day thought would be a good idea (I mean really, who came up with lobotomies?). Wildthorn was inspired by true stories, and I would not be surprised if things in nineteenth century asylums were even worse than described in the book. Any time a group of helpless people are put together in a room, some crazy sadist will find a way to be in charge of them it seems like. I would really suck to be a woman any time since the last fifty years or so. What I find fascinating is that any form of independence or intelligent actions in women were believed to be insanity or unnatural. If you did anything to annoy the men in control of your life it was likely to be the convent or the asylum for you. I'm not sure which I think sounds worse. I did enjoy the romance in this one between Louisa and one of the attendants from the asylum. This novel addressed some serious issues, although I found many of the solutions a bit too simplistic and would have liked to see the author delve into these things a little more. Overall, it was worth my time.

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