Helen Grey has been confined to an insane asylum since the death of her mother when she was fifteen years old. Her mother was an actress and Helen is the result of an affair with an unknown high born gentleman. Her father, wishing to hide Helen away, commits her to an exclusive asylum where she has suffered at the hands of her “Nurse” and the leading psychiatrist who believes Helen to be insane.
Dr William Carter has returned to his birthplace in the hopes of securing a permanent position at the asylum. A housekeepers son, he was lucky to receive funding to undertake his medical studies, and he is pleased to be near his mother learning under one of the greatest psychiatrists of the time.
William knows Helen is only using him to be free from the asylum like she has others, but he is sure she suffers from no illness that justifies her detainment there. As he struggles with his feelings for her, he knows he must do what he can to get her out of there even if it means losing all he has worked so hard for.
This is definitely not your typical historical romance. There is a darkness to this book that is appropriate to its setting. This book is true to the harsh realities women experienced in asylums during that time. William is a strong, ethical man who strives to provide the best for his patients in an unjust environment; he is a beacon of hope.
I received an arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.