A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis


A Madness so Discreet

by: Mindy McGinnis

Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller

Expected Publication: October 6, 2015

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb


It’s the 19th century and Grace is in a mental institution. She would rather be in the institution than go home until she has found a way to escape it all.

Dang, that was Good

  • The cover
  • There was one truly gruesome yet awesome moment in the asylum.
  • McGinnis must have done a lot of research on asylums in the 19th century and it was very interesting.
  • There was a nod to Sherlock and Psycho.

That’s Too Bad, Dang-The Non-Spoiler Edition

  • I know I said I was no longer going to criticize writing so I’ll just say that McGinnis’ writing style isn’t for me. It was too metaphorical and it came across as inauthentic.
  • This book seemed like it was EXTREMELY pro woman and that’s great but the way it was pro woman came across as offensive-to me at least.  I just kept saying, “Come on, ladies; you can do so much better.”


The historical aspects of Madness were done well but the actions of the women were unsetlling.



That’s Too Bad, Dang-The Spoiler Edition

  • It takes place in the 1840’s (I think, there was a reference to President Harrison) and women were treated pretty terribly as you can imagine.  
    • One girl was institutionalized because she had syphilis which isn’t uncommon at this time.  She’s sitting at the Thanksgiving table telling her woes which was that she caught it from her Mother’s boss’ son.  When she confronted the son, he basically tells her she’s lying and throws her out.  Her revenge was to have sex with every man in his family and give them syphilis.  At this admission, all the ladies at the dinner table cheer her on-WHAT THE HELL?
      • Firstly, it’s not like the boy can get cured; there is no cure. He has to live and die with the disease too. Isn’t that punishment enough? How can someone purposely give others, who had nothing to do with anything, an incurable disease and not feel remorseful?  There had to be a better way for justice.
  • So, Grace is in the asylum because her father raped her and she got pregnant.  She’s in the asylum for the term of her pregnancy. Meanwhile there is a serial killer on the loose killing young girls. Grace decided to trap the killer and kill him.
    • Self defense is implied but Grace had no feelings about the killing.  Did the guy deserve it? Yes. Did she kill him to save her life? Yes. But even people who kill for self defense feel something. You killed another life, surely that deserves some reflection. Not Grace, it was no big deal.  They kept talking about monsters in this book. I think that someone who kills without conscious regardless of self defense, is a monster.
  • As I stated earlier, Grace’s father raped her repeatedly and she fears her younger sister is next.  There was a murder when her father was in town so their solution is to falsely accuse him of a murder he didn’t commit.  And one of the other inmates claims he raped her on the witness stand when he didn’t. There has to be a better way for women to get justice.  Once again, is he a monster? Yes, but come on. Is that what girl power is? I don’t think it is. 



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