Genre: Contemporary Literature
The story I was most invested in was Clara's. It was horrible and I kept praying she'd find a way out of her terrible circumstances. Being wrongfully admitted to an insane asylum in the 1920s, Clara bore a child there, a child that was cruelly taken from her, and she endured humiliations and brutal and unnecessary treatments. I couldn't believe that such horrible conditions could exist and that patients would be so harshly treated. It seems hard to think that even in the 1920s, the mentally ill were treated so inhumanly. Clara's story moved me and I wanted nothing more than for her to be reunited with Bruno, and their child.
Izzy finds Clara's diary and is very interested in learning more about her. It's thanks to Izzy that Clara has a happily ever after but Izzy has to suffer her own trials throughout the novel as well. The daughter of a woman who killed her husband--Izzy's father--Izzy has convinced herself that her mother must be insane and that is why she committed such a terrible crime. She is with a new foster family, and adjusting to a new school with a small graduating class--many of whom seem to have it out for Izzy. While we learn more and more about Clara as the novel goes on, Izzy makes some discoveries about her own past that make her rethink her choices and fears, and help her face the truth about what really happened to her father.
This novel was well written and I was caught up in both stories. The novel was rich with emotion and I liked how the plots twined together in the ending. Clara's ending was a happy surprise to me, and Izzy's happily ever after brought a smile to my face. Both these women deserved some joy in their lives, and I liked that fate granted them both joy after so much hurt and hardship. A novel that brings the period and setting to life, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.