Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on February 6th 2009
Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor's daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labeled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself - and others - in order to be set free. And love may be the key...
Wildthorn starts off innocently enough. A young girl with a "normal" Victorian family. Add in a little turmoil, plus sibling jealousy. And a girl's life changed forever.
The plot of the novel is very simplistic. A young girl, who may or may not be who the reader believes she is, is forced into being committed into an asylum for reasons that are not all too clear. As the story processes, the reader is lead on the road of their own discovery. Is Lousisa who she thinks she is? Or does she really deserve to be locked away? Eagland deliciously leaves this and other little tidbits up to the reader's imagination.
To be honest, going into the tale, I did not have the slightest clue that it would include the LGBT theme. While some readers may be put off by this topic, I assure you that love story is handled in a completely tasteful way. Eagland highlights the beauty of love in a simplistic and beautiful way. And at its heart, that is exactly what Wildthorn is… a love story pure and simple.