I was drawn in by the corset. I love corsets to the point of obsession. So the gentle curve of the white corset on the front? Sold. In addition, the inside blurb told of a strong, educated woman who was placed in an insane asylum and has to find her way out.
This book was amazing. I loved it. But it was so completely different than I expected. For one thing, Louisa hates wearing corsets… So it is a bit ironic that the cover has a corset on it. Also…her name. Louisa Cosgrove? Sounded way too much like Louisa Musgrove from Jane Austen’s Persuasion for my tastes, especially when they are both historical/period romance novels.
One thing I thought I was going to dislike was that Louisa is a lesbian. When I first figured it out, reading into the longing glances and love-surges in regards to her cousin Grace, I hated that she was lesbian. It just seemed so stereotypical. Because all women who do not wish to be conventional ladies and wish instead to study and live as equals to men during this era are lesbians, right? But then Lousia’s beautiful relationship with Eliza won me over. It was just so tender and perfect.
I also loved the ending. It was perfect. Realistic in that Louisa and Eliza could not live as open lesbians, and could not be equals in their own house, but they were still able to be together, to make it work, and Louisa got to study to be a doctor. Also, although I hated it, Grace went back to her husband for the sake of her unborn child. It’s awful that she had to do that, but realistically during that time, she didn’t have much choice in the matter. Not in the eyes of society.
This book was amazing and deserves 4.5 stars. It was a quick read, exciting, beautiful love story, and it kept me guessing about who locked Louisa up. I highly recommend it.