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Publisher's Summary

Ten years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now 17, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloguing items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.
Clara Cartwright, 18 years old in 1929, is caught between her overbearing parents and her love for an Italian immigrant. Furious when she rejects an arranged marriage, Clara's father sends her to a genteel home for nervous invalids. But when his fortune is lost in the stock market crash, he can no longer afford her care and Clara is committed to the public asylum. Even as Izzy deals with the challenges of yet another new beginning, Clara's story keeps drawing her into the past. If Clara was never really mentally ill, could something else explain her own mother's violent act? Piecing together Clara's fate compels Izzy to re-examine her own choices - with shocking and unexpected results.
©2014 Ellen Marie Wiseman (P)2014 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Rebecca C. Schwarz on 04-11-15


How could the performance have been better?

The narrator over-enunciated and the way she read was too distracting. The Italian guy's voice was like a goofy cartoon. Nothing subtle about it. I wanted to feel something for the girl at the beginning, but the way she narrated the story all I felt was annoyed.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

At first I was too distracted by the terrible narration to pay much attention to the writing. Then I realized how cliche the story was. Really, you met a guy at a club at age 16 and fell madly in love because he kissed you? You've "never felt this way before?" Honey, it's been ten minutes since you met him. I got about 1 hr in and had to quit. I'm not wasting 11 hours of my life and 1 credit on it. It's too frustrating.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Maryellen on 09-24-14

Bad Italian accent ruins narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The story was decent. The narrator was horrible! The male lead sounded like Count dracular. I was interested in the characters.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tavia Gilbert?

Anyone would be better. She gave a terrible Italian accent to the male lead. Her voice was whiney and breathy.

Any additional comments?

Very disappointed with this author. It was my first book. Not sure if I would try another.

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17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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