Available: paperback, Kindle, hard copy, audible
The story is set in the Victorian era in the British Isles. Seventeen-year-old Katharine Tulman has been given a most important task. She is to travel to her uncle's estate, declare him insane and have him committed to an asylum. This is necessary she's been told, to stop him from squandering the family's fortunes. It also will insure that she is not turned-out into the streets by her somewhat ruthless aunt. When Katharine arrives at the estate, things are not what she expected. Yes her uncle is a bit different, but he's also a genius. Her unannounced appearance is met with distrust and hostility by most of the nine hundred people living on the property. People, who have been rescued from the workhouses of London to work on the estate. They see her presence as a threat to their freedom as well as her uncle Tully's. Mysteries seem to swirl at every turn. As she investigates, she realizes that things are not as clear-cut as she's assumed. She likes her uncle and yet knows she must do her aunt's bidding. The more she learns, the harder it will be to carry out her aunt's wishes. Because there is more at stake than her uncle's freedom . . . her sanity, secrets from the past and the security of England itself.
This was a compelling read; a fresh suspense gothic novel for teens. There are lots of twists and turns in the plot to keep you reading. The era makes for a nice backdrop for the story. It has a nice mix of mystery, suspense and romance to keep you guessing from beginning to end.
Target audience: Grades 8-12
Mystery / suspense: high
Kid appeal: Girl's especially