Sixteen-year-old Delia and her family move into the house they just inherited in Pennsylvania, the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females. But the locals call it Hysteria Hall. However, many of the inmates weren’t insane, just defiant and strong-willed . . . kind of like Delia herself.
But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.
Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashion nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house itself harbors shocking truths within its walls – truths that only Delia can uncover, and they may set her free.
Three words: Abandoned. Insane. Asylum. If those words have gotten your attention, continue reading. If not, go on to another book.
The thing that really confused me was that her father thought it was okay to stay in the insane asylum while they were cleaning it up to sell. Yeah, cause that’s a good idea. It’s not like in those old movies where the teens dare each other to spend a night in ‘the abandoned insane asylum on the outskirts of town.’ The father knowingly took his wife and his children to a mental hospital. How stupid is that!
Most of the females at the Institute didn’t belong there. They weren’t sick, just strong-willed. But that’s what people did to women and the genuinely demented back then. As quoted in the book, “The word hysteria originated from the Greek hystera, meaning ‘womb.’ Female hysteria was a blanket diagnosis applied to women for everything from schizophrenia to having too many opinions.” I think this is well put.
I can’t imagine being stuck in one place forever. I know I said that I’d want to spend it in a movie theater if I had to. But I would eventually get lonely. If you’re going to be stuck somewhere for the rest of your afterlife, the one thing you need is a friend. I mention this because the ghost girls are trapped in the house while the ghost boy Theo is trapped outside. For a hundred years, he had no one to talk to. Until Delia showed up.
This book is what I imagine the TV show American Horror Story is like. I’ve never watched that show, so I can’t say for sure.
Well, this is my last October post. I hope you enjoyed it.