Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
Louisa Cosgrove is in trouble. On the way to stay with some friends of her older brothers, she finds the carriage stopped in front of an asylum instead. An asylum for mentally ill women, and they seem to think she's someone names Lucy Childs. Try as she might to convince them of their mistake, they just assume her "confusion" is all part of her mental condition.
Louisa was an oddity for her time. She wanted to be a doctor like her father in an era where females even being nurses was still frowned upon. As she tries to unravel the threads of her past and figure out how she ended up in the asylum, Wildthorn, we get to see the difficulties and joys of her life as she grew up. We also get a very intimate look into what asylum life was like - and it wasn't very pretty.
Louisa finds unexpected friends, and surprising enemies as she goes. I was very surprised when the betrayer of her trust is finally revealed and is forced to come to terms with what happened to Louisa.
While the story was interesting and moved along fairly well, there were times I had a little trouble believing in some of the characters, at times they seemed very static.