Published by Katherine Tegen Books on October 6th 2015
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.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.
Let me start off by saying the entire reason I read this book was because the girls at ThriceRead did a Saturday discussion and they were so hyped, I got hyped. So I read it. And I LOVED it! I was hesitant at first because I haven’t read a ton of historical fiction, but my goodness, was it good. Definitely a page turner and kept me up late reading. Not every book has that power over me.
So basically, Grace Mae is in an insane asylum in Boston in the 1890s and that is apparently the very worst place a person could be. The torturous treatments described shocked me, but were legitimate methods used in the time period. It is disturbing and infuriating to read. This situation really got me on Grace’s side early on, even when I didn’t fully understand the depth of her abuse. Here’s the kicker though, Grace isn’t crazy. Not at all. Her daddy, on the other hand, is a whole different can of nuts. The man is pretty well evil incarnate, if you ask me. He exiles Grace to this hell-hole to keep her out of public eye while she is in “her condition”. Grace is rescued by an unlikely hero. Instead of shining armor, the Dr has a shining ice pick. She travels with Dr Thornhollow under a disguise of the internal sort, and begins helping him with his side job, criminal psychology. It’s a wonderful combination of Girl, Interrupted, Criminal Minds, and Sherlock Holmes but set in the 1890s. And there’s actual science mixed in with historical facts. Everything feels relevant. And purposeful. And so wonderfully tragic.
This book really made me want to read more of Mindy McGinnis’ works, so I plan on picking up The Female of The Species soon. Can’t wait for This Darkness Mine to be released in October! Have you guys read anything by her?
2016 Books Read: 27/20
CR: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Brian on Fire by Susannah Calahan