Wildthorn - Jane Eagland In this book Louisa is a strong, independent young woman who does not want to follow convention and become a "lady" as her station demands. Her father was quite indulgent and loved the fact that Louisa wanted to follow in his footsteps even though at that time women were not allowed to be doctors. As she grows and becomes more and more discontent with her station, her secret slips out as to what she really wants to do with her life. With her father's death, she no longer has the support of her dream and falls under the "protection" of others trying to direct her life. She ends up in an asylum for the insane without any explanation as to why it was happening. Not only does she get stripped of her dreams, and freedom, she also loses her identity of her own name.

The mystery of who and why this was done to her is slowly revealed throughout the book. Some of the reasons are expected and some are not. I think that this mystery was well presented as well as to how the asylum affected Louisa. The only part I found unbelievable about the asylum was the lack of diseases within the walls. The did present a few, but in places like that at those times, an outbreak of one serious disease would run rampant throughout the whole place. In this book, it seemed confined to it's specific patients. Also, although the staff was abusive, I thought the abuse was light for the times. However, it is a YA book and I would shudder to think how it would be written if more accurate. Given those criticisms, they are light and do not interfere with the book as a whole. I also love the fact that Louisa does find love in the end, but it may be surprising to some. I hope not. To say more might spoil the ending so I will leave it there.

I give this book 4 stars. I think this was a pretty good YA book and I recommend it for those audiences. There is a slight mention of sex, but it was not graphic.