Author: Mindy McGinnis.
Published: October 6th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Sort: Stand-alone. Other work:
Not a drop to drink.
In a handful of dust.
Source: ARC copy from the publisher.
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.
Grace is locked away in an asylum to protect her secret. She keeps her sharp mind hidden behind silence, because Grace has one mission: never return to her family, even if that means she has to act like a mental patient. There is one person who sees her potential and he helps her escape to another asylum where Grace makes friends and has hope of a new life.
I love Grace. This girl had to deal with a horrifying situation, but she is still capable of staying strong. This book is all about her mental strength and I adored her voice. She never let the horrifying things that happened to her break her. Instead, she finds a way to build up a new life where she can use her impressive mind. Her clever observations are of use to her friend Thornhollow. He is a doctor with unique methods and he likes to help the police with murder cases. Those cases were unexpected and I liked the mystery. The relationship between Thornhollow and Grace was interesting.
The setting is fantastic. The first asylum is brutal and has the practices we often hear about. The girls are mentally and sometimes physically abused. The second ethical asylum is much better and Grace starts to develop a friendship with two girls. They both stole my heart. Lizzie has a best invisible friend called String who keeps her up to date about gossips and Nell has other issues that keep her off the streets. They are blunt and they have a what-you-see-is-what-you-get attitude that I admired.
There is no romance in this book and that is a good decision. The main character is not ready for it and there is enough story to keep you hooked from the beginning. Combine this with a killer writing-style and you find yourself lost until you read the last page!