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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

The Asylum by John Harwood

The Asylum - John Harwood

I was attracted to this book because the synopsis reminded me of something that I started writing once. Though my own efforts petered out after a few pages, John Harwood takes our heroine right to the finish line.

Georgina Ferrars wakes up in Tregannon House wondering where she is, only to discover that is the least of her problems. She is missing memories, isn't sure how she came to arrive in the asylum, and is told that she committed herself under a name that she doesn't recognize.

From this promising beginning, the first section of the story continues to explore the possibility that she is being manipulated, but then by whom? Or is she really simply insane? Georgina wonders who she can trust and if she can even trust herself.

The second section of this book delves into Georgina's past. While I enjoyed this storyline, using letters or journal entries is a writing style that I abhor. The story of Georgina's ancestors may even be more interesting than her own, but it could have been fleshed out more effectively than in the one-sided narratives.

Finally, we reach the conclusion with all of the twists and turns one would expect of a novel of this type, including an evil villain monologue....or are they really the villain?

This book was great to listen to on audiobook with enough action to captivate my interest but not so complex a storyline for me to wish I had the text in front of me. Though Georgina is revealed as almost unbelievably naive, she had me cheering for her from start to finish.