FROM DAYLIGHT TO MADNESS
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On an almost uninhabitable rocky island off the coast of Maine, a Hotel looms over the shore, an ever-present gray lady that stands strong like a guard, keeping watch. For many who come here, this island is a sanctuary and a betrayal.
This is a place where memories linger like ghosts, and the ephemeral nature of time begins to peel away…like the sanity of all who have been unlucky enough to step foot on its shore.
In the late spring of 1873, Isabelle gave birth to her son Oscar, he cried for three startling minutes, and then went silent. During the months that follow, Isabelle is drugged and lulled into an almost hallucinatory world of grief and fear. Her life begins to feel as though it exists in a terrifying new reality separated from those around her…
When her grieving begins to make her husband, Henry, uncomfortable, he and his mother conspire to send Isabelle away to a Summer Hotel on Dagger Island, where she can rest and heal. While they are adamant that the hotel is not an asylum and that Isabelle will be able to return eventually to her home, Isabelle understands in her heart that it is all a lie. That perhaps, everything about being a woman in this time, may have always been a lie. Her family has lied to her, and she has lied to herself.
The Hotel, of course, is not what it seems, and the foreboding Dagger Island begins to feel more like a prison than a retreat. Isabelle hears relentless sounds coming from the attic above her room, and the ever-present cries of small children scream in her head almost constantly. Are they hallucinations, or are they connected to the small cemetery she found, filled with the fresh dirt of small graves, the brokenhearted reminders of people that no one believes ever existed?
She meets a fellow guest at the Hotel, a young, enigmatic, and deeply damaged priest, named Francis.
Together they teeter on the edges of reality and try desperately to become free from the fates that their pasts have bound them to.
From Daylight To Madness by Jennifer Anne Gordon introduces us to the mysterious journey of a broken woman. When her newborn son left this world after living a mere three minutes, a part of Isabelle also died with him. Her manipulative mother-in-law conspired with her spineless son to send Isabelle away. Haunted by the memories of those precious three minutes, she makes the journey to a facility set on a distant island. Soon she realizes there is more to the place than meets the eye. Why is the morning tea always laced with sedatives? What secrets lie hidden in the hazy consciousness of the female residents? Her feelings become more complicated as she starts falling for a young priest, seemingly her only friend in this dark place. I loved every aspect of this book. The pages drip with gut-wrenching emotion. The aftermath of the infant's death leaves Isabelle grieving and numb. Her recurring thoughts and half-dazed nightmares, indicative of a gradual descent into madness, are truly unsettling to read. At every turn, Isabelle’s story reminds us of the unseen barriers society has placed on women. Also, Jennifer Anne Gordon has added a distinctly unnerving gothic undertone that intensifies the mystery. The oppressiveness surrounding the home, the cryptic remarks made by various characters, and the enigmatic faithless priest make the book even more engaging. The story ends on a cliffhanger that left me waiting for the next installment of the series. I would wholeheartedly recommend From Daylight To Madness to those who appreciate dark, gothic horrors.
-Reviewed By Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers’ Favorite
In 1873, a grieving mother is sent to a summer hotel for the psychologically impaired on a secluded island to heal in the spine-tingling gothic novel From Daylight to Madness (The Hotel #1) by Jennifer Anne Gordon. When thirty-six-year-old, Isabelle Baker delivered her eagerly anticipated son two months two early, there were dire consequences. Born prematurely and suffering from complications, baby Oscar only survived three minutes after his birth. Isabelle isn't allowed to hold Oscar; instead, she is left alone in her physically weakened state and deep mental anguish. Because her grief is too deep to bear, Isabelle goes into a deep depression. At his mother's request, Isabelle's husband sends her to a hotel on a remote island to heal from her mental anguish. But is the hotel really what her family claims it to be? What is the real motive in sending Isabelle away? Set in the latter half of the nineteenth century, From Daylight to Madness (The Hotel #1) by Jennifer Anne Gordon is a dark and unsettling horror story. The novel realistically depicts the appalling misconceptions and fallacies in connection with postpartum depression and mental anguish during that era. With the abominable and despicable behavior of the antagonists and the imbalanced mind of the protagonist, Isabelle, the story is intense, dramatic, and unsettling. With apprehension and suspense pervading the storyline and a somber and uneasy setting, it is a haunting and unforgettable tale. Written in the literary fashion of the era portrayed, the story starts out slowly, gaining momentum as it advances to the shocking conclusion. It is an eerie gothic novel that will thrill those who relish sinister and mysterious stories where sanity hangs in the balance."
-Reviewed By Susan Sewell for Readers’ Favorite