Nightingale by Amy Lukavics
Author: Amy Lukavics
Published: September 25, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be—independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered—suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women…
June’s parents commit her to Burrow Place Asylum, aka the Institution. With its sickening conditions, terrifying staff and brutal “medical treatments,” the Institution preys on June’s darkest secrets and deepest fears. And she’s not alone. The Institution terrorizes June’s fragile roommate, Eleanor, and the other women locked away within its crumbling walls. Those who dare speak up disappear…or worse. Trapped between a gruesome reality and increasingly sinister hallucinations, June isn’t sure where her nightmares end and real life begins. But she does know one thing: in order to survive, she must destroy the Institution before it finally claims them all.
Lukavics is easily becoming one of my favorite authors. Every book has been a home run! She is able to capture the creepy and scary so effortlessly and I’m freaked out after every reading. Nightingale even has a psychiatric facility . . . Y’all know my affinity to facilities. The 50’s setting added a nostalgic feel and actually helped to soften my one problem with the story. The only thing I didn’t like was the attitude towards traditional women’s roles. I know that during the 50’s it was expected to stick to those roles and it was greatly frowned upon to deviate from them. It just felt like Lukavics overcompensated by looking down on those traditional women. I am a wife and homemaker, in and slightly less traditional capacity, but I decided that my husband, his career and our home outweighed any job I could get. That doesn’t make me any less of a strong, opinionated, free thinking woman. But I also understand that the 50’s were a different time and women back then had to fight harder for their independence. So it did not by any means ruin this book for me.
I really enjoyed the alien element. Normally, I don’t find aliens to be that scary, but in Nightingale, I was freaked out by them!!! They were terrifying!! June was a sympathetic character that I liked and completely believed. Burrow Place Asylum had all the elements of the perfect asylum, complete with experimentation, disappearances, and lobotomies. And thankfully, the resolution was completely satisfying and answered my questions and I was content! Overall, a great, scary read with all the stuff I love in it! I would save this for older teens, due to some adult elements but I’m sure those older teens would love this book!