Review: A Feigned Madness

A Feigned Madness


The insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island is a human rat trap. It is easy to get in, but once there it is impossible to get out. —Nellie Bly

Elizabeth Cochrane has a secret.

She isn’t the madwoman with amnesia the doctors and inmates at Blackwell’s Asylum think she is.

In truth, she’s working undercover for the New York World. When the managing editor refuses to hire her because she’s a woman, Elizabeth strikes a deal: in exchange for a job, she’ll impersonate a lunatic to expose a local asylum’s abuses.

When she arrives at the asylum, Elizabeth realizes she must make a decision—is she there merely to bear witness, or to intervene on behalf of the abused inmates? Can she interfere without blowing her cover? As the superintendent of the asylum grows increasingly suspicious, Elizabeth knows her scheme—and her dream of becoming a journalist in New York—is in jeopardy.

A Feigned Madness is a meticulously researched, fictionalized account of the woman who would come to be known as daredevil reporter Nellie Bly. At a time of cutthroat journalism, when newspapers battled for readers at any cost, Bly emerged as one of the first to break through the gender barrier—a woman who would, through her daring exploits, forge a trail for women fighting for their place in the world. 

Rating: 5-stars


A Feigned Madness by Tonya Mitchell is a well-written novel. It explores that of a madhouse for women. The mistreatment of the people within its walls were heartbreaking. The characters in this book popped off the pages. I was deeply engaged. The was enough action, mystery, and intrigue to keep my full-attention throughout this book. Strong female characters can be found in this tale. I have never read a book by this writer until now. I am amazed. The level of writing and characterization was well-done. I recommend this novel to all mystery, suspense, and historical fiction fans.

Comments are closed.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: