Wildthorn

Wildthorn - Jane Eagland I was recommended this as a decent depiction of mental illness in fiction, however it is obvious from the summary it is not a hero with mental illness. Which was very disappointing to me because I got overly excited at the idea of seeing someone who was mentally ill AND gay as the hero, someone I could really relate to. So finding out that no, there's just the gay part, she's not really mentally ill, that dampened my enthusiasm.

In the end I did find the book all right.. I could relate to some aspects of the institutionalization (not entirely obviously) and the way women who are mentally ill are treated.

What I liked most was the romance, being between two women. The ending of the romantic plot is quite unexpected (or at least, for me, it came out of left field.) It felt like it was going to go into typical tropes for lesbian romance, but those were avoided in the best way possible.

The writing was also very good. Sometimes the prose felt dry and I skimmed over the non-dialogue sections. The conversations were very well written and realistic, and written to fit the time period, which I always like. First person narration is not my favorite but it felt OK here, even if the flashbacks were easily confused with the present due to layout.

Overall it was a decent read.