Ten years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now 17, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloguing items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.
Clara Cartwright, 18 years old in 1929, is caught between her overbearing parents and her love for an Italian immigrant. Furious when she rejects an arranged marriage, Clara's father sends her to a genteel home for nervous invalids. But when his fortune is lost in the stock market crash, he can no longer afford her care and Clara is committed to the public asylum. Even as Izzy deals with the challenges of yet another new beginning, Clara's story keeps drawing her into the past. If Clara was never really mentally ill, could something else explain her own mother's violent act? Piecing together Clara's fate compels Izzy to re-examine her own choices - with shocking and unexpected results.
©2014 Ellen Marie Wiseman (P)2014 Tantor
The narrator over-enunciated and the way she read was too distracting. The Italian guy's voice was like a goofy cartoon. Nothing subtle about it. I wanted to feel something for the girl at the beginning, but the way she narrated the story all I felt was annoyed.
At first I was too distracted by the terrible narration to pay much attention to the writing. Then I realized how cliche the story was. Really, you met a guy at a club at age 16 and fell madly in love because he kissed you? You've "never felt this way before?" Honey, it's been ten minutes since you met him. I got about 1 hr in and had to quit. I'm not wasting 11 hours of my life and 1 credit on it. It's too frustrating.
The story was decent. The narrator was horrible! The male lead sounded like Count dracular. I was interested in the characters.
Anyone would be better. She gave a terrible Italian accent to the male lead. Her voice was whiney and breathy.
Very disappointed with this author. It was my first book. Not sure if I would try another.
A story by this author, but never one told by this narrator.
Never -- you never hear the story, just her reading. Her voice and pronunciation is very distracting.
I didn't get that far.
I only listened to a couple of hours of this book and had to stop -- the narration was so distracting that I couldn't pay attention. I might try to read this book instead.
Eat, sleep, breathe, listen to Audible.
Through this whole book I was just waiting for something good to happen. The story drags on and the writing is so boring and tedious. I caught myself groaning audibly several times at the lame descriptions and comically bad dialog. The story tries so hard to be suspenseful, but by the middle I was over the "twists and turns". Overall, it was just depressing. I actually skipped the last few chapters just to get to the end for the sake of finishing the book. I love suspense novels, but this one was just ridiculous. I've actually never even written a review, but this one was just too bad , I couldn't pass up the opportunity to warn others.
She reads too dramatically......much too eager.
Maybe a teenage girl would be thrilled by it.
Audible should warn listeners when a book is meant for teenagers who like horror. This book certainly is not for adults.
The narrator was so annoying and whiny I could barely muster the empathy it took to invest in the main characters. I can't believe they even suggested this slow moving, predictable story to me. THE WORST!!! I wish I could have returned it!
I enjoyed the story. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a YA book but it certainly read that way. It kept me interested till the end which, while lovely, was sad too.
Anybody else. Seriously anybody else. If it wasn't for a book club that forced me to finish this book I would have returned it 20 mins in. Her narration is so over the top - it's like she's in a child's pantomime. Every single word is over pronounced and dramatic. Don't even get me started on the Italian accent which sounds exactly like Count Von Count from Sesame Street.
The end was sad. And moving. I may have shed a tear.
Having first hand knowledge of the State hospital systems employed as late as the 1960's, I applaud the research and depiction of this horrible system by the author. So much was unknown and remains unknown about "mental illness." I've had occasion to see a hospital similar to Willard in Athens, OH and the horrors secreted behind and within the old walls of these buildings.
The story moved along at a pace which is about my cup of tea. I thought more of the mysteries were going to tie together than they did, but...if I want that I guess I should write a book. It was easy to follow and distracting enough for the commute to work and back. The reader was very unusual. Ms Gilbert has perfect diction, I mean, when she read the line, "I liked to go there," you could clearly hear both the 'd' in 'liked' and the 't' in 'to' separately. She doesn't seemed strained at the level of perfection. But one character was read as continuously anxious. Every line of the character was worried and fearful and nervous. I supposed there was a slight difference between scared and terrified, but it got very old for me - like listening to a whiny child - because it was a main character. I suppose that if Sandra Bullock hyperventilating for 2 straight hours in the movie Gravity didn't bother you, then this won't either. It just diminished my enjoyment of the book a bit.
Women who preserve.
After a little bit of a slow start, I could not stop listening!!!!
Really enjoyed the female characters but the male characters a little less; hence, the 4 starts. Overall very good.
Thank GOD it is 2014 and mental institutions are somewhat better managed and mental conditions are better treated.
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