Jennifer from the Amherstview Branch recently enjoyed Woman 99, a compelling new historical fiction/thriller mash up by Greer Macallister.
Charlotte Smith, a resourceful 1800s heiress, goes undercover to rescue her wrongly committed sister Phoebe from an insane asylum. While there, she uncovers the harsh treatment behind bars as well as the injustice behind the women’s institutionalization. Abound in realistic period details and courageous characters, I read this book in a single sitting. “Woman 99” offers a looking glass into social prejudice both on the surface in terms of the restrictions that traditional social mores imposed upon women in the Gilded Age and going into the depths of how society treats non-compliance as seen in the institutionalization of poverty, mental illness and women who held unconventional views. The power of sisterhood seen in small acts of kindness among patients motivates them to overturn a rigged system so that women may experience freedom in exposing the truth.