THE PAINTED BRIDGE BY WENDY WALLACE...
Every now and then a very special book comes along - and The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace is just such a novel; one that lingered in the VV's mind long after she had finished reading.
Wendy Wallace's prose is beautifully crafted, and it is with great integrity that she paints the poignant story of Anna, a young woman married to an older clergyman, who may or may not be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, during which period of mental confusion she is wickedly deceived by her husband into entering the doors of a private asylum.
There, personal tragedies and horrors are witnessed; the result of cruel and misguided treatments that were all too common - and medically approved - at the time. But during this confinement, Anna is lucky to find herself the subject of more enlightened interest when a young doctor visits to photograph the patients, believing that madness (or sanity) can be observed in the expressions of the afflicted.
With her intricate observation of medical and photographic science, Wendy Wallace takes historical facts which would only shock us now and through them she weaves a harrowing personal story where deceptions of the present and past will gradually become unpicked to result in the book's stunning climax.
The cover is simply gorgeous - and the iconic Victorian imagery of a bird locked or flying free from a cage suits the novel to perfection. And, if you are not already enticed, take a look at this book trailer which reflects all the menace and tension - and romance - that is offered in The Painted Bridge -