I'm Just a Little Crazy: 'A Madness So Discreet'

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Madness So Discreet
Author Name  

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.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

As a person who wants to be in clinical psychology, stories about mental illness/disorders always are different for me. Especially if I know someone with that disorder. It changes things for me. I look at the book differently.
So I walked into this book hoping. Hoping for an exposé about asylums. Hoping to learn something. I walked out of this book disappointed.

With Grace's story, you could see her descent into madness. My thoughts? Awesome. She really changed. She had less reaction, less care. Her emotions dulled. She didn't flinch near dead bodies or when she wielded a knife. Compared to her before-the-book, frilly, and floofy lifestyle, her asylum life was starkly different. It was horrifying. I knew that asylums were terrible places, but I didn't know about the specific treatments the patients went through. It was a blast from the past, a smack of reality. People can be horrifying sometimes. Humanity can be horrifying sometimes.
Sadly, her personality fell flat, though. She was dull and emotionless. I know that she was trying to be that, but it annoyed me to no end. Even Nell and Elizabeth had personalities. They were bubbly and full of life. What Grace went through was different, but she was still a teenage girl. She still had youth. I wanted her to act that way. To have a shred of hope. Because hope is all you need in the worst of times.

Her friendships were amazing. She found friendships in unlikely places. In the dark. In the light. I thought that was pretty cool. Friendship trumps romance any day in my book.
And her friends supported her. They laughed with her. They made her smile. They were the only people who could. With Elizabeth and Nell, Grace had life. I thought that was great. Friendships can change you. I know my friendships define who I am. The guys. The group. My best friends. These people are who I am.

The plot was lacking. Was it a mystery? Or a story about change? Or all of the above? I wanted to know. I wanted something definite. If the plot was a mystery, I wanted more clues. I wanted something to follow. If the plot was about change, I wanted the frilly lifestyle of Before. If it was all of the above, I wanted more details. I wanted more story. More depth.



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