Goldengrove devoured my sister every time I closed my eyes.”
Woman 99 by Greer Macallister
Goldengrove is a privately owned institution designed for those in need of mental health care. From the outside it appears to be a tranquil, welcoming place for rest and recovery. However, it may not be as healing as it seams.
Set in the late 1880s in a time where many outrageous treatment practices for mental illness were being performed, Woman 99 by Greer Macallister portrays what life was like in a mental health institute or asylum of that day.
Charlotte and Phoebe Smith are two close knit sisters of a wealthy and privileged family in San Francisco. Image is everything to their mother, and they must put on the best front, or risk embarrassing the family name. When the older sister, Phoebe begins to show signs of recurring mania and melancholy, her parents commit her to a nearby asylum run by family friends. Just like that, Phoebe is locked away, cut off from corresponding or visiting with her family, almost as if she wasn’t part of the family in the first place.
Desperate to get her sister back, and believing Phoebe has been wrongfully admitted, Charlotte devises a rash and impulsive plan to get her sister back. She will become a patient of Goldengrove and she will find her sister and bring her home. Feigning despair, Charlotte enters as ‘woman 99’. Now she is only a number, and with her unknown identity she hopes she can locate her sister. However, once admitted, Charlotte realizes its much harder to get out than in.
I just finished The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abie Daré and I’m in awe. This is such a powerful, heart-wrenching book from such an unique and beautiful voice.
Just from turning the first few pages, I had a sense I was going to love this book and my inclination wasn’t wrong. This book amazed me! The books I rate 5/5 Stars are books which on top of being well-written with well developed characters and plot lines, also do something emotionally for me. This was certainly one of them.
That day, I tell myself that even if I am not getting anything in this life, I will go to school. I will finish my primary and secondary and university schooling and become a teacher because I don’t want any kind of voice….I want a louding voice.”
I’m currently reading too many books at the same time, but there’s so many good books out there I can’t help myself! I recently purchased The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré and am loving it. I’m pretty sure it will be a five-star read for me. It’s one of my favourite books so far for 2020. I’ll post a review once I’m finished it.
I also love that I have a hard copy of the book. E-books are a great way to access books, especially during COVID times and I really appreciate that I can access e-books through my library system and through Open Books and Net Galleyand I’m also very attached to the hardcover and paperback versions. I just love the feel of holding a book and turning the pages, rather than staring at a computer screen.
I started reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi through my local library system. I was struck by Yaa Gyasi’s breathtaking prose from the opening paragraph. Her writing is simply beautiful! I’m looking forward to reading this book.
I wrote a review for this book last year, however, I never got around to starting a blog and publishing it. Since this is one of my very favourite books I would like to share my review with you now.
“To know what a person has done, and to know who a person is, are very different things.”
Burial Rites–Hannah Kent
Based on a true story, Burial Rites is the story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to be executed in Iceland in 1830. Convicted of the murder of two men, Agnes is imprisoned on a farm in Northern Iceland to await her execution. Surrounded by the family imprisoning her and the young priest she has chosen as her spiritual advisor, Agnes begins to make sense of the events which led up to her current situation as her life is drawing to a close.
The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton captures the story of a young girl growing up in 17th Century England. H as she is called, chronicles daily life, both in the time leading up to the Plague and Great Fire of London and it’s aftermath.
She records her many hardships and adventures (with more hardships than adventures to say the least)–growing up as a penniless orphan, estranged from some of her sisters, and at the mercy of her kind, though unknowing Aunt and her licentious cousin, Roger.
When the Plague snatches everything that she has held dear, H is thrown into a dangerous and contagious world. Finding herself penniless and homeless, as well as friendless, she has to fend for herself in the Plague-ridden streets of London, where she must use both her will and her wits to survive.