A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Monday, January 4th 2016

“It’s a madness so discreet that it can walk the streets and be applauded in some circles, but it is madness nonetheless.”
― Mindy McGinnis, A Madness So Discreet


Haunting is the single word description needed to describe A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. This novel is a heart-wrenching historical fiction that will have your mind questioning your very sanity based on the pretenses of the  1800s medical practice.Readers are automatically  thrown into the cold depth of despair, only to hear the screams of an arachnophobia girl  desperately scratching to set free the eight legged creatures that are crawling in her blood. Her screams are now accompanied by drumming of heavy feet approaching her cell. She’s new. She doesn’t realize that the screams only encourages the worse, not better. There is no one willing to help her. Grace May mind is not the reason she enrolled at the Boston Asylum, it’s the secret of who put her in such a fragile state that has her locked away.  There is no hope in the Boston Insane Asylum, at least that was the belief Grace held before becoming friends with a strange figure in the darkness, whose nose seems to have the power of omniscience about it.

“Dear child, do you even know all the rage that is inside you?”

 ― Mindy McGinnis, A Madness So Discreet

A Madness So Discreet, is absolutely amazing when capturing the  historical details environment   that truly transport us in time. Mindy McGinnis truly transports us into the 1800s, sparing no foul detail such as  smells, uncomfortable female garments, stiff male coats, social expectations of both genders, non gender equality and carriages, these details  do not disappoint when reading about the unfavorable accepts of the book as well,  this historical fiction is about much more disturbing details.

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 Surrounded by woman’s right or rather the lack of women’s right does not stop the fast tempo of this novel. The police ride off these possible “serial murders” because of status of  women who meet their untimely deaths. I gave this novel 4 out of 5 stars based on, the historical accuracy; the lack of women’s social equality;  social standards of privilege families, however the ending was very nice. It was “nice” that Grace and the Doctor were not romantically involved (that would be acquired), that they hold a friendship/professional relationship together. The reason why I held back on the last star was because Grace not being able to reunite with her sister again. I feel that the doctor truly cares for Grace I just feel because of her scars and his station that’s as far as the relationship will probably go.

This is a wonderful literature pieces that will have you holding your head wondering if we are safe within or without the walls that keep us?

“You chose to stop acknowledging a world that has treated you foully. What’s saner than that?”

About Mindy McGinnis

Mindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film my Stephanie Meyer’s Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Look for her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET in October of 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books. Mindy is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.

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