I was entranced by this novel, but think that there is no better introduction to reading it than through the words of the author herself:
Wildthorn was inspired by a true story I came across in a book called Against Therapy by Jeffrey Masson. I learned that Hersilie Rouy, a nineteenth century French woman, was incarcerated in asylums for fifteen years despite the fact that she was sane. She was deprived of her true identity and the more she protested about this and about her treatment, the more this was taken as evidence of her insanity.
How terrible, I thought. And then, What must it have been like for her?
The injustice of what happened to Hersilie appealed to something deep in me and directly inspired my depiction of Louisa.
The asylum is a dark place and what Louisa experiences there is frightening. But despite the secret that threatens to undermine her confidence, she has courage. I hope you enjoy accompanying her on her journey as she struggles to face up to the truth about herself and at the same time tries to unravel the mystery that lies behind her imprisonment.
Find this and more on the author's website: www.janeeagland.co.uk