The Asylum

A brilliant new Gothic thriller from the acclaimed author of The Ghost Writer and The S ance.Confused and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House, a private asylum in a remote corner of England She has no memory of the past few weeks The doctor, Maynard Straker, tells her that she admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton the day beforeA brilliant new Gothic thriller from the acclaimed author of The Ghost Writer and The S ance.Confused and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House, a private asylum in a remote corner of England She has no memory of the past few weeks The doctor, Maynard Straker, tells her that she admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton the day before and then suffered a seizure When she insists he has mistaken her for someone else, Dr Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, who replies that Georgina Ferrars is at home with him in London Your patient must be an imposter Suddenly her voluntary confinement becomes involuntary Who is the woman in her uncle s house And what has become of her two most precious possessions, a dragonfly pin left to her by her mother and a journal that contains the only record of those missing weeks Georgina s perilous quest to free herself takes her from a cliffside cottage on the Isle of Wight to the secret passages of Tregannon House and into a web of hidden family ties on which her survival depends.Here is another delicious read from the author praised by Ruth Rendell as having a gift for creating suspense, apparently effortlessly, as if it belongs in the nature of fiction.
The Asylum A brilliant new Gothic thriller from the acclaimed author of The Ghost Writer and The S ance Confused and disoriented Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House a private asylum in

  • Title: The Asylum
  • Author: John Harwood Rosalyn Landor
  • ISBN: 9781482911114
  • Page: 178
  • Format: Audiobook
  • 1 thought on “The Asylum”

    1. I won an ARC of The Asylum from a GR First Reads giveaway, and it came at a great time for me -- the end of the semester, when I needed some light escapist reading. It may sound odd to call The Asylum light reading, given its synopsis: Georgina Ferrars wakes to find herself in Tregannon House, a private asylum in Cornwall. She meets Dr. Maynard Straker, who informs her that she arrived at the asylum having identified herself as Lucy Ashton. She then suffered a seizure with left her with impaired [...]

    2. I didn't enjoy The Asylum, a historical fiction about a woman who wakes up in an asylum with memories that don't match the identity that the staff have assigned to her.It's probably just me. I was listening to the audiobook on my way to and from work, so I took this story in pieces rather than all at once. The majority of the positive reviews seem to be from folks who devoured this in one sitting.Also, things have been stressful at work. So, I brought that baggage to the table as well.The part w [...]

    3. This might have been a better experience if Fingersmith and Sarah Waters didn't exist. But they do. And the complexity of writing and emotion and character development here pale in comparison. Probably not helped by the fact that the audiobook narrator, Rosalyn Landor, does better at voicing secondary characters than the primary female ones. They not only sound indistinguishable from one another, but are all voiced in strangely placid style, though you really don't get to know them all that well [...]

    4. tells me I have had this, John Harwood's third novel, on my wishlist since October last year. So obviously, when I received an ARC of The Asylum I immediately got stuck into it - despite the frustratingly late UK release date of 20th June (it comes out in May in the US) - and I couldn't put it down until I'd finished. This is an addictively readable and deliciously compelling gothic mystery which grabs your attention on the first page and refuses to let go.The book opens circa 1882 with a young [...]

    5. The majority of this book was a 4 star read for me because I found it so enthralling. The ending was a bit rushed and it was hard to keep track of all the names and people within the story. Overall, I had a good time. It makes me want to read more gothic Victorian books.

    6. This was a dark, complicated and kind of confusing book. There were a few times I had to reread a few pages as the story kind of felt jumpy to me. Interesting story line, I really hoped this was going to be a winner. It fell short some.

    7. “Asylum” is a throwback to the 19th century when Sensationalist writers were all the rage. Think Collins’s “The Moonstone” or even better Braddon’s “Lady Audley’s Secret” or Mrs. Henry Wood’s “East Lynne”. I love this genre and I’m glad to see Harwood embracing it. There are secrets galore and you’re never on solid ground with this story. I was continually guessing and then second guessing where the plot was heading and trying to understand which characters were relia [...]

    8. Deeply disappointed in this latest John Harwood offering. I read "The Seance" by this same author and was captivated by that one, passed it on to my daughter who also gave it the thumbs up. I found The Asylum confusing, dark and gloomy throughout. The story, set in the 1800's, moves between past and present centering around Georgia Ferrars our key character. Georgia wakes up in an asylum without knowing how she came to be there. As she gives her account of what she knows what follows at the end [...]

    9. No one writes Gothic quite like John Harwood. His ability to capture the mood, atmosphere and mores of the classics is without equal, while avoiding the florid excesses that plagued the subgenre. And with The Asylum, he has produced one of the best Gothic mysteries I've read in years, filled with a creeping paranoia and genuine chills.Highly recommended.

    10. I enjoy John Harwood books, I've read his previous two, but this one was by far my favorite of his thus far. Ghost Writer was an exciting debut and Seance had some sophomore slump mainly due to the fact that it was set in a more current time. Harwood writes gothic fiction, so it really works best when it's set within a proper era. Asylum works well because Harwood absolutely captures the age, the setting, the atmosphere, the characters, but particularly it is the relentless suspense the makes th [...]

    11. A little bit silly and rushed at the ending, but everything else was great, if you're a goth novel fan. Really involving for most of the book, and really makes you worry about the main character.

    12. This is wonderful: an utterly readable, utterly compelling Gothic mystery, set in Victorian England.It begins with a young woman waking in a strange bed, in a strange room. The smell and texture of her blanket was wrong, the coarse flannel nightgown she was wearing was not her own, and when she opened her eyes and saw a grille covering the small window, roughly painted walls, a heavy oak door with a small aperture she knew that something was terribly, terribly wrong.And she had no memory at all [...]

    13. Meh. I was expecting a spooky, gothic tale, based on the cover and description. Perhaps if they make a movie out of this book it would turn out that way, but I had a hard time getting that vibe from the book. It has a promising opening, with young Georgina Ferrars waking up in a mental institution in Victorian England with no idea how she came to be there. Even more perplexing, the numerous staff members she comes in contact with all insist that she presented herself as "Lucy Ashton" and said sh [...]

    14. I have to confess - Harwood is my guilty pleasure. I will be adding every book Harwood writes to my to-read shelf in future.This book gets 3 and a half stars. I liked it. All elements of the puzzle, such as family secrets, dramatic turns, skeletons in the closets and some other things (that I don't want to spoil here), were quite similar to those of The Ghost Writer and The Seance, but in different combination it made this victorian novel taste quite good. Just to compare - The Ghost Writer was [...]

    15. Imagine waking up one day to find yourself in an asylum, with no memory of how you came to be there. You know your own name – Georgina Ferrars – but the doctor tells you that you had admitted yourself as a voluntary patient the day before under the name Lucy Ashton. The clothes and belongings you've brought with you, marked with the initials LA, seem to confirm this, but you're sure that's not who you are. Sending a telegram to your uncle, a London bookseller, you wait for him to prove your [...]

    16. The Short of It:An asylum, a young woman who has supposedly gone mad, the English setting…and yet I struggled with it.The Rest of It:Georgina Ferrars wakes up in an asylum. She can’t remember how she got there or why, but she is quickly told that she admitted herself under the name of Lucy Ashton. When she questions this, her uncle back home is notified and he confirms that the REAL Georgina Ferrars is in fact, with him, and that there must be some mistake.As you can imagine, the mistaken id [...]

    17. It's two o'clock in the afternoon, Thursday, the second of November, year of our Lord 1882. Georgina Ferrars opens her eyes in a Cornwall lunatic asylum with no idea how she got there and deeply confused by the staff's insistence on referring to her as Lucy Ashton. She convinces the doctor to contact her uncle and inform him of her predicament. Her uncle responds with the assurance that his niece is with him. The patient must be an imposter. So begins a distinctly disturbing tale by John Harwood [...]

    18. Two of my favorite genres combine in Harwood's latest, historical fiction and a gothic style mystery set largely in a Victorian era asylum. There are questions of identity and sanity. A young woman awakes in an asylum told that she is Lucy Ashton, someone she doesn't know, and has no recall of her past.Harwood sets up the story in three parts: the initial narrative telling of Lucy's history, the middle section providing history through letters from the past, and the third section which provides [...]

    19. Georgina wakes in an asylum with no memory of the past few weeks having registered under an assumed name with no idea how she got there. The Doctor tells her she had suffered a seizure the day before and that he has confidence she will regain her memories. She has him send a telegram to her uncle and is shocked when the response says that Georgina Ferrars is there with him and she is an imposter they had taken in as a guest.After this revelation, the mystery deepens as she tries to understand wh [...]

    20. Gothic novel set in 1882 England. The story is told through first-person narration, letters, and diary entries. Lots of twists in the plot. The author borrows heavily from the classic novels of Wilkie Collins and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and so readers familiar with those works won't find many surprises here. However, I think the book is a good introduction to readers who are new to the Gothic/Sensation Novel genres.

    21. BeginningBORING BORING BORING Somewhere towards the middleSlightly interesting, I hope it gets good The rest of the bookBORING BORING BORING

    22. This was actually a really interesting and engaging read until the last third of the book. Then it just fell to spectacularly crappy pieces. The last 50 pages or so were practically phoned in. Put aside the fact that the main character is the very definition of (exasperatingly) gullible- it's the character flaw that sets up the story. Fine, I'll take it. But so much mystery and intrigue and then… nothing. Ends in a poorly constructed hurry. The "bad guy" gives up in the space of two paragraphs [...]

    23. Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the galley copy (via NetGalley)A young woman wakes up in an asylum with no recollection of how she got there or why she voluntarily committed herself under another name. Upon insisting that she is Georgina Ferrars, not Lucy Ashton, and that her uncle, who also her guardian, should confirm her disappearance, Georgina receives the shock of a lifetime to discover that another woman is staying with her uncle and is now living her life. Georgina, now in a [...]

    24. I read John Harwood's 'The Seance' a little over a year ago and really enjoyed it. When I saw he had a new book out I eagerly added it to my list of books to be read, when I saw it being offered through the Vine I happily picked it up.Georgina Ferrars finds herself in an asylum with a gap in her memory and no recollection of how she has arrived at Tregannon House. Dr. Straker, the asylum's director, tells her she came to visit him and introduced herself as Lucy Ashton then had a seizure while sh [...]

    25. Although solid enough I felt that I've read better gothic stories that have done the same story but better.

    26. I never added a review here (or if I did, couldn't find it). So here it is, from June 2013.I have to be rather honest here. This is the third book I've read by John Harwood -- I loved his The Ghost Writer, which was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Prize in 2005, and I also enjoyed The Seance, his second book. Compared to those two, this one is not as good, and for me, not so mysterious as I feel a gothic-style novel should be. Having said that, let me just say that it's getting multi-star rati [...]

    27. I think this novel had a lot of potential that the author left untapped. Georgina's story is fascinating, and I like how the reader pieces it together just as Georgina does. What I found a little distracting was the static quality of the narrative. Much of it is told through journals and letters, which I always find problematic. It's hard to believe that anyone would keep a journal as detailed as the one Georgina does, or that anyone would write letters as comprehensive as the ones Rosina sends [...]

    28. This book is gothic fiction at its best! This was the first book I’ve read by Harwood and I will be reading his others. This book grabbed me from the start and kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. Poor Georgina wakes up in an asylum with no recollection on how she got there, she is also registered in a name that is not hers. Between the memory loss and her giving a false name the doctor thinks she should stay and get her memory back when things go from bad to worse when the doct [...]

    29. John Harwood's "The Asylum" is a suspense novel set in England in the mid to late 1800s. I enjoyed the way it was written, with a feel for classic literature of that time period, which I think also complimented the Gothic setting.Georgina Ferrars wakes up in an asylum with no recollection of how she got there, plus her two most prized possessions are nowhere to be found. When the great-uncle she lives with is contacted, he sends a reply stating that Georgina is indeed still in his house at the v [...]

    30. Really 2.5 stars, but 2.0 seems so harsh when maybe I just didn't appreciate the book?The first half seemed a slow slog, but I was genuinely interested in how Our Heroine ended up as a patient? We get some back story via letters to her mother from a cousin, that frankly read more as a "device" to impart the information that correspondence. The story became so convoluted that I lost track of which character "went" with which thread; things also got a bit creepy (although the lesbian romance wasn' [...]

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