MrsMascara's Reviews > The Madness of Miss Grey

The Madness of Miss Grey by Julia Bennet
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it was amazing

Excellent and a little different this historical romance has a dark undertone.

This book is not your average lighthearted regency romance, it is however, very well written, with a slightly unusual dark plot, compelling characters, and some nice touches which have stayed with me.

Helen Grey is 26, and has been locked up in an asylum in Yorkshire for 10 years. The illegitimate daughter of an actress and a mysterious aristocrat, she was abducted from London shortly after her mother died, and locked up at fifteen.

William Carter is the son of the former housekeeper of the Manor House which has become the asylum, and the latest doctor at the asylum. He is back at his former home, to hopefully get a recommendation by Dr Sterling who runs the asylum.

He encounters Helen in the woods, when his dog, Hector, a Great Dane, acosts her, as she is trying to escape. Mistreated by her evil nurse Fletcher, and deprived of all mental stimulation by Dr Sterling, to try and make her docile and unresisting, she is desperate to escape. She sees immediately that Dr Carter is attracted to her, and she starts to plot to get him to help her to escape.

Will, sees through this very quickly, and he also realises that she is not at all mad. He is also very attracted to her, how can he help her, and maintain his professional distance? How can he rescue her from a hidden enemy who insists she stays locked up? How can he keep her safe, when as the son of a commoner he has no connections or money to help her? How can Helen escape and be happy, does she care about Will or is she just using him?

I thought this was very well done. The developing relationship between the two felt realistic and tender. Will’s kindness and skill as a doctor apparent as he improved her treatments and care so she was not cruelly abused. The appalling treatment of people in asylums was described well, as was the huge sadness of Helen, who despite her resilience and determination to escape, had not been touched except in anger or lust for ten years. Their vulnerabilities were believable and well handled and the romance between them was really satisfying. I also liked the lighter touches like the relationship between Hector and Helen for example. The denouement of the villain was also very satisfying.

I look forward to reading more by Julia Bennet. I really found this an intelligent and absorbing read.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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Reading Progress

April 6, 2019 – Started Reading
April 6, 2019 – Finished Reading
April 7, 2019 – Shelved

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