About this Book
Gregory denies all, and Isabelle s mother insists she marry as planned rather than drag them into scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute, and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband s assassination.
In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine.
Weaving together a thread of finely tuned suspense with a fascinating setting and real-life figures, Sarah Barthel’s debut is historical fiction at its most evocative and compelling.”
What Do I think?
OK, let me start by saying that I’m really not a big fan of historical fiction, because the social obnexity totally gets on my nerves. But this book.
Oh oh oh this book!
I couldn’t put this book down.
It’s very rare that I find a female protagonist this good. Very very rare if you know me lol.
Izzy, or Isabelle, was a socialite who was engaged to the 19th century version of the “American Sweetheart”. She knew that her marriage was of convenience- him for her contacts, and her for that lifestyle, and she had completely accepted it.
But then comes the twist. The man- her man- Gregory commits a hideous crime, and she was the sole witness to that crime, but no one believes her when she tells them what she had witnessed, and forces her to get married to him. To save herself, she fakes a mental breakdown, and sets on a journey to save herself, and other women from Gregory.
I think it’s brilliant. Her friendships, and her bonding with the people around her was fantastic. Each character was brilliantly written, and the plot was fast-paced. Just perfect.
The author is very talented, and I most definitely cannot wait to read more from her.
[ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]