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A marvellously macabre slice of nineteenth-century Gallic gothic, Mas' evocation of a ghastly ball held within an oppressive asylum is both a celebration of female strength and a dazzling stylistic tour de force.
The Salpetriere asylum, 1885.
All of Paris is in thrall to Doctor Charcot and his displays of hypnotism on women who have been deemed mad or hysterical, outcasts from society. But the truth is much more complicated - for these women are often simply inconvenient, unwanted wives or strong-willed daughters. Once a year a grand ball is held at the hospital. For the Parisian elite, the Mad Women's Ball is the highlight of the social season; for the women themselves, it is a rare moment of hope.
Genevieve is a senior nurse. After the childhood death of her sister, she has shunned religion and placed her faith in Doctor Charcot and his new science. But everything begins to change when she meets Eugenie, the 19-year-old daughter of a bourgeois family. Because Eugenie has a secret, and she needs Genevieve's help. Their fates will collide on the night of the Mad Women's Ball...
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 160 g
Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 22 mm
'The Mad Women's Ball is a darkly sumptuous tale of wicked spectacle, wild injustice and the insuppressible strength of women. Mas brings the world of La Salpetriere to life with passion and fury, unveiling a hypnotic theatre that is as moving as it is macabre.' - Emma Stonex
'In this darkly delightful Gothic treasure, Mas explores grief, trauma and sisterhood behind the walls of Paris' infamous Salpetriere hospital.' - Paula Hawkins
'A beautifully written debut set in Paris in 1885, Victoria Mas' characters come to life within a sentence while her storytelling compels you to turn the page. I loved The Mad Women's Ball and have absolutely no doubt it will be one of my favourite novels of 2021.' - AJ Pearce
[Victoria Mas's]... portrait of women who were unfairly banished to asylums often because they did not fit into the straightjacket of 19th-century society is moving... beautifully drawn.' - The Times
'Elegantly written, Victoria Mas's slender, potent debut celebrates sisterhood, while also exposing the corrupt powers of the patriarchy at home and in the wider world.' - The Daily Mail
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Paris is in the thrall of the much celebrated Doctor Charcot and his displays of hypnotism he performs on his female patients who have been deemed utterly mad,raving,hysterical and social outcasts.
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“Exceptionally rich and detailed characters with an astounding plotline.”
Centered around Genevieve a nurse at the Salpêtrière asylum, Paris in the late 1800s and Eugenie a patient, The Mad Women;'s Ball is a tale that fully absorbs you until the very last sentence.
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Thank you to the publishers for this early review copy.
Firstly, can I just say - what a gorgeous cover! The cover will absolutely pull you in.
This book is equally as brilliant inside as it is gorgeous outside.
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