Monday, October 26, 2015

Review #AllHallowsWeek- A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

A Madness So Discreet
Series: Standalone 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Hardcover - 384pgs
Source - Purchased 
Add it // Buy it 

Rating - 4/5 

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

When so many books arrived on my doorstep in October it was hard to decide what to read first. However, I’ve been very anxious to get this book in my hands since I saw the cover. When it arrive I found myself reading the first few pages, then the first few chapters and I just could not put it down! 
The writing, the characters and the story development are fantastic. This book is very dark and the author did not shy away from the realities of life in the early mental health care system. While I really enjoyed this book I want to mention there are major trigger warnings for child abuse, sexual abuse, depression, suicide, and general mental health issues. 

Grace was a fantastic character and I really enjoyed reading her story. She is a little unreliable because she admits she is mad. However, we quickly learn mad and insane do not have the same definition we have today. This is a key part of the book and one I think McGinnis explored really well. I really enjoyed all the discussions about what it means to be mad in a historical setting. She obviously did a great amount of research and this is a realistically dark historical fiction. 

I loved the female relationships in this book. The women support one another in this male dominated time-period. All the characters are fantastic, but the women really stood out in my opinion. A lot of the characters banter back and forth especially Thornhollow and Grace. I really enjoyed those conversations. 

At the end of the novel things wrap up VERY quickly and after so much set up I think the ending needed more details. I wasn’t ready to let go of these characters then the ending came so quickly! I especially wanted to spend more time hunting murderers. We only received glimpses of this process compared to what I was expecting. 

Quick Thoughts: This was a really unique book with a great setting and phenomenal characters. I was really drawn to this book and could not put it down. I can't wait to pick up other books by Mindy McGinnis (because I have another one!)

My Last Review ---> Spark by Brigid Kemmerer 

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