I received a complimentary copy of THE SAVAGE INSTINCT by M.M. Deluca from Inkshares for an honest review!
Rating: 3.5 / 5
THE SAVAGE INSTINCT is set in the 1870s in the UK. Clara Blackstone is a young wife traveling to meet her husband after some troubling times. Following the loss of her baby, Clara was committed to undergo metal health treatments and while now declared sane, she’s still considered fragile and her husband has her on a tight leash.
Clara manages to convince her husband that volunteer work would be good for her and she begins to work with the woman inmates at the prison. There she meets Mary-Ann Cotton, a woman arrested for the multiple murders of her husbands and children by arsenic poisoning. Though she is accused of horrific crimes, Clara finds Mary-Ann’s story intriguing and Mary-Ann is able to provide her with some words of wisdom when it comes to standing up for herself.
Clara’s story provided an interesting insight into the historical world of mental health treatment. Her treatment and how her body was treated was entirely in the hands of her husband and her own wishes weren’t worth anything to anyone. Some of the treatments given to her were truly cringeworthy as the doctors blamed women’s biological differences for their frailty.
Learning that this book was a combination of fiction and fact made the story even more compelling. The case against Mary-Ann Cotton was true, from the crimes of which she was accused, to the lack of concrete evidence and the lack of a real effort to provide her with a fair trial with good representation. Whether she actually did the crimes or not is still a matter for some debate.
I thought it was very interesting how the author used a real life case, one that would have fueled conversations in the surrounding areas, to explore how it would impact the life of a woman like Clara. Clara was beaten down with a lot against her, but her strength really shone through also.
THE SAVAGE INSTINCT is available now!