By Jane Eagland
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780547370170, 352pp.)
Publication Date: September 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
They strip her naked, of everything—undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen—still Louisa Cosgrove, isn't she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love . . .
Originally published in the UK, this well-paced, provocative romance pushes on boundaries—both literal and figurative—and, do beware: it will bind you, too.
Born in Essex, Jane Eagland taught English in secondary schools for many years. After doing an MA in creative writing, she now divides her time between writing and tutoring. Wildthorn is her first novel, inspired by true stories of women who were incarcerated in asylums in the nineteenth century. Jane lives in Lancashire, England, in a house with a view of the fells.
"Louisa and Eliza provide a window into a shameful history of mental health care and women's incarceration that only ended in living memory."—Kirkus Reviews
"The author tenderly and expertly builds a romance between Louisa and an attendant, Eliza . . . The surprisingly happy ending—in which Louisa escapes and confronts her accusers—is a welcome relief after all of her angst and despair."—Publishers Weekly
"Eagland does a beautiful job of depicting the "real" Louisa in the end, with an unusual twist on the conventional romantic denouement. Teens will identify with her."—School Library Journal
"Fans of historical fiction or GLBTQ fiction will likely enjoy this unique story of mystery and romance."—VOYA