What June finds is there are worse hells than being a homemaker in the suburbs. She and the other young women are trapped in a literal nightmare, where they can rely on no one but each other.
More below on Nightingale by Amy Lukavics.
I felt connected to June throughout the novel, as a dreamer of a bigger life than what is expected, not caring about the outside but the inside of people and things. What I really enjoyed was how each character was crafted with such detail and levels, yet all from the first person. I still felt empathy for Fred and Robert, despite the fact that in June’s eyes, they were less and not understanding. And the asylum girls? Fascinating women with zany disorders. I want a novel about each one of them.
This book definitely freaked me the f*** out. The novel within the novel (June’s novel) was creepy enough, but the things that June saw or thought she saw in the asylum were bananas.
Here’s just a nibble:
“Bright red meat, shockingly bright, stuck out over the front of the skull in thick, gummy clumps that wept fluids and blood.”
Such an image! Amy Lukavics is gunning for King with that language.
The ending was absolutely and completely unexpected. It left you wanting even more. Great read!
At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be””independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered””suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women…
June’s parents commit her to Burrow Place Asylum, aka the Institution. With its sickening conditions, terrifying staff and brutal “medical treatments,” the Institution preys on June’s darkest secrets and deepest fears. And she’s not alone. The Institution terrorizes June’s fragile roommate, Eleanor, and the other women locked away within its crumbling walls. Those who dare speak up disappear”¦or worse. Trapped between a gruesome reality and increasingly sinister hallucinations, June isn’t sure where her nightmares end and real life begins. But she does know one thing: in order to survive, she must destroy the Institution before it finally claims them all.