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Wildthorn Paperback – Unabridged, 6 Mar 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Young Picador; 1 edition (6 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330458167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330458160
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 338,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor's daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labelled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself - and others - in order to be set free. And love may be the key . . .

About the Author

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, inpsired by true stories of women who were incarcerated in asylums in the nineteenth century. Jane lives in Lancashire, in a house with a view of the fells.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chantal Lyons VINE VOICE on 18 April 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Don't start reading this book if you have a bunch of important things to do. You won't get them done till you've read whole book.

The promise of feminist overtones against the backdrop of Victorian England, and a mental asylum, was what peaked my interest. I studied a little of the treatment of Victorian mental patients in Psychology but to read a book concerning the main character's unjust incarceration in an asylum was horrific. The hatred I felt for the characters responsible for the cruelty at the asylum, and for the ones responsible for sending Louisa to the asylum was scarily real. The unfairness of her situation had me so riled, I had to quickly read the end of the book to see if she had a happy ending (which I've never done before).

The story is relentlessly gripping, with the narrative switching between the present, where Louisa is at the asylum, and the past, where we are shown the events that led up to her incarceration. The author's prose was pleasant enough to read, though it is the plot and its characters that drive the novel and distract from anything else. It was not predictable; at first, I thought I had easily sussed out the person responsible for putting Louisa in the asylum, but I turned out to be wrong.

I recommend this book to all teenage girls, and to those who are older. A brilliant historical fiction.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Price on 24 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
Louisa Cosgrove's trial and tribulations as she struggles to find out why she has been sent to Wildthorn make for a great read, I read the book in one sitting on a very long plane journey and was captivated until the end.

I have to agree with Dr Wynn and disagree with Fizz, there were enough twists to keep me guessing until the end, I had no idea as to the identity of Louise's captor until the final stages of the book, and the suspense as you wait to see if she will make her escape kept me on the edge of my seat.

For a first novel this one speaks volumes of the things to come from Eaglands future works, I wait with bated breath for the next!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Fizz on 17 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
Reading Wildthorn has made me so grateful I was born in the 20th Century and not the 19th! I read the book in one sitting, and apparently even that could have got me into trouble as a woman in Victorian England.

I originally bought this book for my teenage niece, but have been unable to resist reading it first, partly to check the asylum scenes were not too scary, but mainly because I found it impossible to put down. I found Louisa's experiences of betrayal and incarceration an eye-opening window on the restrictions of Victorian society, and also enjoyed the book as a cracking mystery. I have now passed it on to my niece now, as I'm sure she will also enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. M. Chadwick VINE VOICE on 6 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wildthorn by Jane Eagland, is classed as for "young adult" readers, but I can safely say that the older ones of us who love a good book will love this one.

Louisa Cosgrove is seventeen and wants to live her life as she wants, her father is a respectable Victorian doctor, and she wants to become a doctor. Although, her mother and brother have different ideas about that.
Even her best friend who she loves thinks she should just be happy and contented to get married and have a family; her best friend is to marry a man of high standing who likes nothing more then to medal with other peoples lives and cause them misery.

Her best friend's fiancé and her brother plot against her. Poor Louisa's life takes a downward slide as she is sent to Wildthorn Hall where she is labelled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. The people who are supposed to be caring for her want to do nothing but send her over the edge.

Whilst inside Wildthorn Hall she becomes friends with one of the workers, she's called Eliza, and she helps her in more then one way!

Jane Eagland's characters all have great depth which makes them very believable. She shows her readers just how hard a woman's lives were during the 19th century and exactly what they had to fight against, (just show's how far women have come, which I'm really glad about).

This novel is one of the best I've ever read,the author makes sure she grab's your attention right from page one and keeps your attention all the way through. It's a compulsive read, extremely enjoyable and throughout the book you're on Louisa's journey and going through all the emotions that she does.

I was just sorry when the book ended as I wanted to know what happened next to Lousia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pugwash on 21 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jane Eagland's latest offering explores the tragic life of Lucy Childs, currently a patient at Wildthorn, a Victorian insane asylum. Lucy has no knowledge of the whys or hows of her committal - Lucy isn't even her real name - but the staff at Wildthorn insist on addressing her as such. The truth about Lucy's incarceration lies with her domineering mother, and she determines to escape the asylum and uncover the trail of deception that led her there.

Very much a period drama - Wildthorn is set in the 19th century - Eagland's heroine is a girl out of time, and one whose determination to follow a career path reserved for men in an intensely patriarchal society has not been dampened by what has happened to her.

The narrative flashes back and forth between Lucy's present residence at Wildthorn and her childhood, and we soon see a picture emerging of an intelligent and determined young woman who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is easy to engage with Eagland's heroine, and the writer successfully creates a character for whom the reader has pathos mixed with admiration.

As a study of a period in British history where both mental illness and female independence were equally misunderstood and reviled, Wildthorn is a resounding, if harrowing, success. Eagland incorporates plenty of historical detail and imbues her characters with a humanity and hardiness that is appealing and bold; even the rather unlikely sub-plot is at least handled gently and doesn't ever become lurid. As a novel it is both accessible and suspenseful, and paints a picture of hope even in the face of utter hopelessness.
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