The Asylum by John Harwood

We continue on this week, dear readers, with another gothic novel. We travel to Tregannon House and it’s many visitors in The Asylum.

Georgina Ferrars has woken up in a small room, clearly confused and with no memory of how she got there. Nor, it seems, does she remember the preceding few weeks. When she meets Doctor Straker, he says her name is Lucy Ashton as that is the name she checked in with several days ago before suffering some kind of seizure. She insists he must have her confused with someone else and at her insistence the doctor sends a telegram to her uncle. The reply however is not what Georgina had hoped to hear. The uncle says Georgina is there with him in London and the person claiming to be her must be an impostor.

Soon, Georgina finds herself going from voluntary patient to involuntary patient. With time running out, Georgina must try and piece together what happened to bring her to Tregannon House in the first place. And to find out just who is the woman with her face?

John Harwood is no stranger to the victorian gothic tale. He has two previous novels in the same style with The Asylum being his third. He definitely has a strong grasp of the subject matter as this book is a dark and delicious romp. Georgina is an interesting character in that at the start of the novel she seems almost the stereotypical gothic heroine. Yet as the book goes on, one begins to wonder just how much of what Georgina insists is true. Her mother’s old letters hint at something that happened in the past, something that could have an impact on the young woman’s future.

I will not give too many details as to do so would spoil the plot. Moody and mysterious right up to the end, The Asylum is an excellent addition to the gothic genre.

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