Please note that I received this book for free via NetGalley. This did not impact my rating or review.
June Hardie is struggling to fit in. Too bad that her family starts to push for her to be more like other women in the time (1951) and the story weaves back and forth to a time before June was sent to an asylum to what takes place when she gets there.
I rooted for June, but thought most of the story was kind of a bore. Probably because going back and forth in the story didn’t do a thing for me. Probably because I watched American Horror Story: Asylum an kept comparing that to this while reading. I also compared it a bit to Victor LaValle’s “The Devil in Silver” since I thought his book just like this one had a pacing problem. Also, I chose this book for the horror elements, but this didn’t really have a lot of that in this book. I like to read horror that scares me, this one was just okay. Also we get the unreliable narrator piece in this one and I just get tired of authors relying on that all of the time in these type of books.
The writing was okay, I just didn’t really like the whole book within a book thing that was going on. I also thought the flow could be improved. Maybe going back and forth to tell the story was when things started to not read as well. Maybe if we just read everything leading up to why June was sent away, and then just focus on her at the asylum, it would have worked better.
It was interesting to set this in 1951. You do feel for June who wants to write, and doesn’t just want to marry and have children. And you can see (sadly) why her parents reacted badly to this. But at times I didn’t get June, when she gets mad at her mother telling her to have clean clothes? I mean, yes, you need to be clean.