The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls

Author: Emilie Autumn
Published: June 22, 2017
392 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description from Goodreads:

Two young women, living centuries apart, both accused of madness, communicate across time to fight a common enemy… their doctors.

“It was the dog who found me.”

Such is the stark confession launching the harrowing scene that begins The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls as Emilie Autumn, a young musician on the verge of a bright career, attempts suicide by overdosing on the antipsychotics prescribed to treat her bipolar disorder. Upon being discovered, Emilie is revived and immediately incarcerated in a maximum-security psych ward, despite her protestations that she is not crazy, and can provide valid reasons for her actions if someone would only listen.

Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world, and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital’s psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience, and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England, and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open.

As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats speak the Queen’s English.

But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society’s treatment of women and the mental health care industry’s treatment of its patients, showing in the process that little has changed throughout the ages.

Welcome to the Asylum. Are you committed?

Kim’s Review:

I got this book for Christmas and I was immediately drawn to the cover! Of course, I’m all about asylums so there’s that, and the cover art is gorgeous! It did start out a little slow, but when it got going, boy howdy did it get going! I love the way that she broke down the thoughts in Emilie’s head to try to capture the issues of mental health. And apparently this book is biographical so Emilie Autumn the author has dealt with these very problems. Emily (with a y) is a fascinating character that I wish I could learn more about. I felt like I missed a lot of details that would have been helpful, but I’m too shallow to get them . . . if that makes any sense at all. That’s the only reason I gave this book 4 stars. There were times that I felt a little lost. Other than that, I loved the story, I found it interesting and engaging and it stayed in my head long after I put the book down. Overall, this was a great read; a little bit of creepy, a little bit of history, a little bit of crazy and it all came together into an awesome story! Not a great book for teens, but really great for more mature audiences! ?

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

**BONUS!!!**  If you are a fan of coloring books, Emilie Autumn created one!

Description from Amazon:

Enter the world of the Asylum with 23 original illustrations hand-drawn by Emilie Autumn herself, just waiting for YOU to bring them to life with color!

Devotees of Emilie Autumn’s bestselling gothic fantasy novel, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, will recognize the iconography of the Asylum world, from keys, gears, and clocks to the famous spiked gates, teapots, corsets, striped stockings, and, of course, rats!

The circular mandala style is designed to stimulate your creative brain whilst calming those voices in your head when they get just a bit too loud.

These exquisitely detailed designs are printed on one side only to allow you to easily remove the pages for displaying your art. Following each coloring page is a double-sided lined note page on which you are invited to record the wild journeys your mind went on whilst you were coloring.

Whether you color as a relaxation technique or as a wake-up call to your inner artist, Emilie invites you to collaborate with her and escape into the Asylum with this adult coloring book suitable for Plague Rats of all ages.

• 23 original coloring pages
• 23 double-sided lined note pages
• Durable, glossy cover and binding
• Dimensions: 8.5” x 8.5”

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK