The Resource Woman 99 : a novel, Greer Macallister

Woman 99 : a novel, Greer Macallister

Label
Woman 99 : a novel
Title
Woman 99
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Greer Macallister
Title variation
Woman ninety-nine
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
When Charlotte Smith's wealthy parents commit her beloved sister Phoebe to the infamous Goldengrove Asylum, Charlotte knows there's more to the story than madness. She risks everything and follows her sister inside, surrendering her real identity as a privileged young lady of San Francisco society to become a nameless inmate, Woman 99. The longer she stays, the more she realizes that many of the women of Goldengrove aren't insane, merely inconvenient -- and that her search for the truth threatens to dig up secrets that some very powerful people would do anything to keep
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Charlotte and Phoebe Smith lived pampered lives in bustling San Francisco, filling their days with shopping, social calls, and galas. But although the Gilded Age had much to offer the sisters when it came to high society, the era's ideas and treatments of mental illness were sorely lacking. When Phoebe is committed to the infamous Goldengrove Asylum, Charlotte realizes that she's the only one with the power to bring her back. After faking a suicide attempt and denying her true identity, Charlotte finds herself committed to the same institution as her sister. Though her original plan now seems exponentially harder to pull off, Charlotte knows that she's Phoebe's only chance at a life outside the asylum. Exploring sisterhood, trauma, and the power of shared experience, Woman 99 is an undercover glimpse inside a late nineteenth-century treatment facility. Macallister fearlessly probes the dark corners of the era, exposing barbaric treatments and backward thinking surrounding mental illness. Fans of Yara Zgheib's The Girls at 17 Swann Street (2019) and the novels of Anne Tyler will appreciate Macallister's strong narrative style. -- Stephanie Turza (Reviewed 2/15/2019) (Booklist, vol 115, number 12, p31)
  • In Macallister’s spellbinding novel (after The Magician’s Lie), set in 1888, a San Francisco society woman discovers horrifying treatment of patients after getting herself admitted to an asylum with hopes of freeing her sister. Charlotte Smith is devastated when her beloved sister, Phoebe, is sent to Goldengrove, supposedly an oasis of progressive treatment for mentally ill women. Inspired by Nellie Bly’s undercover reporting, Charlotte uses the cover of a leap off an ocean pier during a lengthy stay with her aunt Helen as a ruse to get herself committed and bring Phoebe home. Once inside, she realizes that many of the committed women aren’t ill at all, but are simply inconvenient, such as a prostitute, an adulteress, and a woman who refused to marry in hopes of pursuing an education. Charlotte suffers daily indignities (such as frigid communal showers), but finds humanity and small kindnesses among her fellow patients. As her time runs out, Charlotte enlists the help of her new friends Celia and Martha, who are planning their own escape. Though Charlotte narrates, Macallister also gives voice to a motley crew of women who, at the mercy of male whims, hide multitudes. Charlotte’s commitment to rescuing her sister is emotionally resonant, and the grim realities of institutionalization in the 1800s offer heft. Macallister sensitively and adroitly portrays mental illness in an era when it was just beginning to be understood, while weaving a riveting tale of loyalty, love, and sacrifice. Agent: Elisabeth Weed, the Book Group. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed 01/07/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 1, p)
  • In late 19th-century San Francisco, socialite Charlotte Smith has the world at her feet, but when her parents commit her older sister Phoebe to Goldengrove Asylum for what would now be considered bipolar disorder, Charlotte is determined to set her free. While pretending to visit relatives in Newport, Charlotte fakes a suicide attempt and gets herself committed to Goldengrove. Naïvely, she believes that she will find Phoebe and explain that neither she nor Phoebe are insane, and both will walk away unharmed. It's not that simple; Charlotte realizes she's not the only sane woman in Goldengrove; many of the inmates are there because they are inconvenient to their families. It occurs to Charlotte that she must do more than rescue Phoebe—she must rescue all the women who don't belong there by exposing the practices at Goldengrove. First, she has to get out. VERDICT Macallister follows up The Magician's Lie with a novel of the power of sisterhood, shining a spotlight on the barbaric treatment of the mentally ill in this period as well as society's view of women who don't fit the "traditional" mold. Readers will become engrossed in Charlotte's journey of self-discovery as she fights to free herself and her sister from a rigged system. [See Spring Editors' Picks, p. 20.] --Elisabeth Clark (Reviewed 02/01/2019) (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 2, p82)
  • A young woman sneaks into a California insane asylum to rescue her sister in Macallister's (Girl in Disguise, 2017, etc.) third novel. Charlotte Smith, the 20-year-old daughter of a San Francisco shipping magnate, is about to be thrust, for her parents' convenience, into a marriage she did not choose; the groom's identity is not immediately revealed. Arguably worse, the Smiths have committed Charlotte's beloved sister, Phoebe, who suffers from what today might be classified as bipolar disorder, to Goldengrove, an asylum for the "curable insane." What's a sheltered, finishing school-educated debutante to do? Follow Nelly Bly's notorious example and infiltrate Goldengrove under an assumed identity, that of a suicidal vagrant, while her parents think she's off on a six-week sojourn in Newport, Rhode Island. The novel's backstory unspools in flashbacks, revealing that Charlotte has a crush on Henry Sidwell, the son of her father's chief investor and creditor. The present-time action focuses on Charlotte's search for Phoebe while chronicling life in a mental institution, which, though progressive for 1888, seems to assign treatment regimens according to class. Goldengrove is controlled by the Sidwell family, and the branch least concerned with inmate well-being has been left in charge, with the result that the asylum's mission morphs from therapies (albeit some very primitive ones) to contracting out the patients as slave labor. Although insights about the limited choices afforded women of all classes, and suitably gothic plot twists, keep us reading, too many improbabilities disrupt the narrative flow. The Smiths are portrayed as overanxious yet allow Charlotte to embark unchaperoned (and without luggage) on a supposed cross-country journey and make no effort to inquire about Phoebe's welfare. Since suspense is plentiful there is no need to postpone certain disclosures, such as the identity of Charlotte's fiance. Withholding information is particularly problematic in the first-person narrative of a protagonist as self-reflective as Charlotte. The denouement, with its concessions to period conventionality, removes any hope that this novel will deliver on its feminist leanings. A gripping melodrama that may leave readers feeling gaslighted. (Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10760018
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Macallister, Greer
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Psychiatric hospital patients
  • Sisters
Label
Woman 99 : a novel, Greer Macallister
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Includes reading group guide and an interview with the author
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
350 pages
Isbn
9781492665335
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
Specific material designation
regular print
Label
Woman 99 : a novel, Greer Macallister
Publication
Copyright
Note
Includes reading group guide and an interview with the author
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
350 pages
Isbn
9781492665335
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
Specific material designation
regular print

Library Locations

  • Broadbeach LibraryBorrow it
    61 Sunshine Boulevard, Mermaid Waters, QLD, 4218, AU
    -28.035507 153.424153
  • Burleigh Heads LibraryBorrow it
    Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads, QLD, 4220, AU
    -28.090304 153.452264
  • Burleigh Waters LibraryBorrow it
    Corner Christine Avenue and Galeen Drive, Burleigh Waters, QLD, 4220, AU
    -28.081169 153.432148
  • Coolangatta LibraryBorrow it
    Level 1, The Strand, Corner Marine Parade and Dutton Street, Coolangatta, QLD, 4225, AU
    -28.166856 153.537057
  • Elanora LibraryBorrow it
    The Pines Shopping Centre, Guineas Creek Road, Elanora, QLD, 4221, AU
    -28.135667 153.469567
  • Helensvale LibraryBorrow it
    Helensvale Plaza, Corner Lindfield Road and Sir John Overall Drive, Helensvale, QLD, 4212, AU
    -27.922595 153.3341
  • Local Studies LibraryBorrow it
    Corner Garden and Lawson Streets, Southport, QLD, 4215, AU
    -27.970549 153.412387
  • Mobile LibraryBorrow it
    Gold Coast, QLD, AU
  • Nerang LibraryBorrow it
    Corner White and Price Streets, Nerang, QLD, 4211, AU
    -27.991463 153.335174
  • Palm Beach Community Lounge and LibraryBorrow it
    Eleventh Avenue, Palm Beach, QLD, 4221, AU
    -28.117206 153.467597
  • Robina LibraryBorrow it
    196 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina, QLD, 4226, AU
    -28.076691 153.38214
  • Runaway Bay LibraryBorrow it
    Lae Drive, Runaway Bay, QLD, 4216, AU
    -27.91145 153.399086
  • Southport LibraryBorrow it
    Corner Garden and Lawson Streets, Southport, QLD, 4215, AU
    -27.970549 153.412387
  • Upper Coomera LibraryBorrow it
    Corner Reserve and Abraham Roads, Upper Coomera, QLD, 4209, AU
    -27.869062 153.304254
Processing Feedback ...