“A Madness So Discreet”
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Date Published: October 6th, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review
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.
An Open Letter To A Madness So Discreet,
I needed a book like you in my life, and I’m glad that I found you. You’re creepy, dark, wonderful, and just the right amount of unsettling. You blur the lines between madness and sanity in a really smart and interesting way. You’re one of those books that I’ll be thinking about for a good long while. And honestly you’re one of my favorite books of the year, so there’s that!
-The White Unicorn
Mindy McGinnis is a genius. Her books are so well written that I can never find anything to complain about. It takes a lot to be able to write a book that not only has a smart plot, but also is smart in what it has to say, and A Madness So Discreet is one of those types of books. It also helps that McGinnis isn’t afraid to push the envelope when it comes to her story lines and characters. Happy go lucky novels aren’t her thing, and I love that.
This is one of those books that has something for everyone. Do you like historical fiction? Do you like crime thrillers? Do you like books that take place in asylums? Do you like books full of demented secrets? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, get this book in your hands now, because all of those elements writhe inside these pages.
McGinnis gives us a story with a lead that seems to be mute, but here, nothing is as it seems. I adored Grace. It was nice to see McGinnis giving us a softer, yet still extremely strong, female lead. Grace has been through the ringer. She was thrown into an asylum for a pregnancy, brought on by some horrific circumstances. There were so many times where she could have thrown in the towel, but instead she fights against what life has handed her and finds a purpose solving crimes alongside a handsome doctor. She’s strong enough to leave everything behind and take on a new identity. Grace should have had it all, and instead she finds a family within the walls of a mad house. It’s rather genius, isn’t it?
It’s refreshing, the way that McGinnis doesn’t pull any punches with this book. The story deals with a lot of really tough issues. Madness turns out to be the least of her character’s worries. All these people have dark secrets, and the lines of true madness are blurred in the smartest of ways.
Though Grace clearly carries the story, McGinnis doesn’t shy away from giving us a brilliant cast of secondary characters. Grace quickly become friends with Elizabeth (a girl who observes things through an imaginary String), Nell (who doesn’t have issues with expressing her sexual needs), and Janey (the head nurse of the Woman’s ward).
There is also Thornhollow (the handsome doctor I mentioned before). He’s uncovering new ways to solve crimes, and decides that Grace would be the perfect partner. There actually isn’t any love story between them to speak of, and it works. Though, if I’m honest I’d like there to be another book where maybe they end up together. Can you get on that McGinnis?
Everyone should read this book, because it’s brilliant. The thoughts, the words, the plot, the characters. Nothing is out of place. Everything is perfect. Read it!
5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW!