The Asylum Download  100

The Asylum

John Harwood Í 0 Download

Ists he has mistaken her for someone else Dr Straker sends a telegram to her uncle who replies that Georgina Ferrars is at home with him in London Your patient must be an imposterSuddenly her voluntary confinement becomes involuntary Who is the woman in her uncle's house? And what has become of her two most precious possessions a dragonfly pin left to her by her mother and a journal that contains the only r Goodreads tells me I have had this John Harwood's third novel on my wishlist since October last year So obviously when I received an ARC of The Asylum I immediately got stuck into it despite the frustratingly late UK release date of 20th June it comes out in May in the US and I couldn't put it down until I'd finished This is an addictively readable and deliciously compelling gothic mystery which grabs your attention on the first page and refuses to let goThe book opens circa 1882 with a young woman Georgina Ferrars waking up in an unfamiliar room At first believing her surroundings are a dream she soon comes to realise she is an inmate in a lunatic asylum Tregannon House with the chief doctor insisting she has admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton Unable to recall any memory of the past few days she is convinced it's all a terrible mistake until her uncle with whom she lives sends a telegram to the asylum saying the 'real' Georgina is safe and well at homeThe plot and structure are both pretty simple Georgina tells her own story relating her frustration disbelief and attempts to get out of the asylum with an interlude devoted to a number of letters written some years earlier by a cousin of Georgina's mother The story is breathlessly fast paced and very exciting despite the limited scope of the setting and the fact that Georgina acts as the narrator adds a further layer of intrigue for the reader is her conviction that the 'other' Georgina is an impostor reliable? As the evidence mounts up against her and she struggles to remember even the smallest detail of the weeks leading up to her arrival at Tregannon the reader is led to believe she may indeed be deluded or genuinely insane yet she remains such a likeable sympathetic character that it's impossible not to hope for her to escape There are shades of Sarah Waters' work particularly Fingersmith in some of the relationships that develop and in the highly emotive depiction of Georgina's imprisonment and some of the explanations are uite ingenious in their detail while also being simple enough to believeThe only thing really wrong with The Asylum is that its ending spirals out of control a bit and isn't anywhere near as enjoyable as the rest of the story As with Harwood's debut The Ghost Writer it feels as if the author isn't uite sure how to end the book this results in some rather silly things happening and the 'bad guy' behaving like a pantomime villain giving conveniently lengthy explanations of all his dastardly plans to anyone within earshot I also found it highly unlikely that view spoilerGeorgina's mother would have instructed the lawyer that Georgina should only receive the letters if she became engaged to Felix why on earth would she have ever thought this was a possibility when it was so unlikely the two would ever even meet? hide spoiler

Summary The Asylum

A brilliant new Gothic thriller from the acclaimed author of The Ghost Writer and The SéanceConfused and disoriented Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House a private asylum in a remote corner of England She has no memory of the past few weeks The doctor Maynard Straker tells her that she admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton the day before and then suffered a seizure When she ins I won an ARC of The Asylum from a GR First Reads giveaway and it came at a great time for me the end of the semester when I needed some light escapist reading It may sound odd to call The Asylum light reading given its synopsis Georgina Ferrars wakes to find herself in Tregannon House a private asylum in Cornwall She meets Dr Maynard Straker who informs her that she arrived at the asylum having identified herself as Lucy Ashton She then suffered a seizure with left her with impaired short term memory she could remember her name her childhood her mother her aunt her uncle in London but she could not remember the last few weeks arriving at the asylum or even the clothes or bags she found in her room Throughout the first section of the novel Georgina tries frantically to establish her identity in the face of skepticism from Dr Straker from Frederic Mordaunt the young melancholic whose uncle owned Tregannon House and from asylum staff Even her uncle sends a telegram saying that Georgina Ferrars is in residence in his house in London and that the patient in the asylum must be an imposter Harwood has written other books inspired by Victorian novels The Asylum features staples of the genre women in peril mistaken identities complex and hidden relationships among characters and the roots of present day conflicts stemming from past tragedies Ferrars emerges as an overly trusting but strong and intelligent woman who in the end relies on her wits to seek a way out of her confinement Harwood's pacing moves the narrative along and his inclusion of a second section consisting of old letters and recent journal entries provides an effective means to answer uestions about the relationship of the distant and recent past to Georgina's present predicament However the last section becomes uite unbelievable even by the standards of these novels which themselves are built on complex genealogies incredible coincidences and hidden motives There is a sense of Harwood's rushing to find resolution for the novel which is jarring after the way he built dramatic tension in the first two sections of the novel The villain who ultimately emerges comes across as a two dimensional stock figure 35 stars for the first two sections 2 for the last section leading me to a final somewhat generous 3 star rating

Read ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Í John Harwood

Ecord of those missing weeks? Georgina's perilous uest to free herself takes her from a cliffside cottage on the Isle of Wight to the secret passages of Tregannon House and into a web of hidden family ties on which her survival dependsHere is another delicious read from the author praised by Ruth Rendell as having a gift for creating suspense apparently effortlessly as if it belongs in the nature of fiction No one writes Gothic uite like John Harwood His ability to capture the mood atmosphere and s of the classics is without eual while avoiding the florid excesses that plagued the subgenre And with The Asylum he has produced one of the best Gothic mysteries I've read in years filled with a creeping paranoia and genuine chillsHighly recommended


About the Author: John Harwood

John Harwood is the author of two previous novels of Victorian Gothic suspense Aside from fiction his published work includes biography poetry political journalism and literary history His acclaimed first novel The Ghost Writer won the International Horror Guild's First Novel Award He lives in Hobart Australia


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