Top positive review
A fascinating portrait of the lives of three women...
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2018
This is the third book I have read by Kathryn Hughes. I never realized what mental hospitals (lunatic asylums) were like within my own lifetime and that anyone could be committed for pretty much any reason. The story was a fascinating portrait of the lives of three women: Amy, a patient in a mental hospital; Ellen, a student nurse in the same hospital; and Sarah, who was researching a book on the history of that hospital. The author showed us that the inside of the hospital was a far cry from the elaborate architecture and fancy furnishings in the public areas of the building. The characters of these three women was portrayed in great detail. Although what happened within the hospital was quite appalling at times, the book was a tribute to the indomitable spirit of Amy, the kindness of Ellen, and the perseverance of Sarah. Several times, I had tears in my eyes. There were some happy times and many times that really touched my heart. The book is truly a page-turner. Once again, my housework suffered until I finished this book. I highly recommend this book, as well as the other two books by this author.