Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1701
The YA Sarah Waters
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Wildthorn is not an ideal choice for those in search of happy fun times all the way through, but definitely an interesting topic not much touched on in teen literature. The first half of the novel switches between Louisa's experiences in the mental institution and her memories of her life and how she ended up there. Louisa is very sympathetic for a modern audience. The portrayal of the mental institution clearly reveals the horridness of that setup. Troublesome women truly were shunted off into these institutions and they could do nothing to escape. Most poignant is the impossibility of proving one's sanity. How do you convince people that you are not crazy when they keep calling you by a name that is not your own?

The lesbian angle was interesting too. Finding LGBT fiction for teens can be difficult; I took a course on young adult resources and in the week on this topic, we had no books about lesbians. This book fills a gap in teen literature and does quite a good job of it. Eagland does not shy away from the topic, nor does she overdo it. The story manages to be sweet and serious, a solid, slightly more deep than average teen read. It also has a beautiful cover!

Recommended if you like Sarah Waters, since this seems much like a teen version of Fingersmith.
Good Points
LGBT, Victorian
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