Genre: historical fiction
Plot: When Stella Swift is discovered holding a shard of broken glass near her newborn baby boy, fears that she might harm William result in her being taken to Catcombe – the local asylum. Although the regime is not as harsh as it once was, it’s not somewhere that Tom wants to send his wife – but he has no choice.
Turning to his kind-hearted sister-in-law Grace for help taking care of his other three children whilst he keeps working at the mine seems like the simplest solution until Stella is well – if only there wasn’t the shared history between Tom and Grace…
At first Catcombe seems to offer the respite Stella needs – until one day she becomes convinced that the baby the nurses have given to her is not William. Is Stella losing her mind? Or is it true that a mother will always know her own child?
My verdict: This book took me three days to read. I read it only because I’m interested in how patients were treated in asylums in the 1900’s and the ideas surrounding mental health. Felton writes with such vividness that it’s like watching a film.It is an emotional rollercoaster but it didn’t grab me like a book usually would.Sometimes the plot could be quite cumbersome and some incidents predictable. Being a disabled person, I have empathy towards those that’s patience that were unfairly incarcerated, in the case of nursery maid florrie just because he suffered post natal depression after having a still born daughter and Rose, a young servant girl who got herself pregnant by the son of her employer and was unwed.
Fans of upstairs downstairs would like this and Downtown Abbey. Just not my thing but, fans of Dilly Court will enjoy it.