New England, 1890. Doctor John Shepherd arrives at a women's mental hospital to begin work as assistant to the owner. As Shepherd struggles to conceal his secrets, he finds the asylum has plenty of its own. Intrigued by a girl who is fascinated by books but cannot read, Shepherd embarks upon an experiment to help her. In this chilling literary thriller everyone has something to hide and no one is what they seem.
©2014 John Harding (P)2014 W.F. Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Charlotte Brown on 08-04-17

Gloriously Grim & Bleak

What made the experience of listening to The Girl Who Couldn't Read the most enjoyable?

This one took a few hours to get going for me but when it did I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the beginning a bit tedious, with all the descriptions of mental and physical abuse (which they call treatment) going on and not much else happening except the day to day drudgery of life in a Victorian mental asylum. I almost gave up on it but so glad I didn't. The narrator in the beginning almost sounded like he was announcing rather than narrating but that too picks up and found it's stride perfectly. It's a dark, brooding and bleak story but without giving too much away, the suspense really amps up when the character of Caroline Adams makes an appearance at the hospital. Some comment that you wouldn't have to read the excellent Florence & Giles to get this one, but I kind of disagree and I'm very glad I did as I understood the patient Jane Dove very well and anticipated what could possibly happen. Full of suspense and twists. I thought the ending was a bit abrupt or maybe I just didn't want it to end, but it did leave it open for a sequel of some kind I hope. Highly recommend this one!

What other book might you compare The Girl Who Couldn't Read to, and why?

Florence & Giles as it's kind of a continuation of what happens to Florence.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It got going for me when Caroline Adams makes an appearance at the hospital. Full of suspense from that moment on.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend this.

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