A Feigned Madness


Fiction - Historical - Personage
398 Pages
Reviewed on 09/29/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Ever since reading Jane Eyre in high school, Tonya has been drawn to dark stories, particularly of the Gothic variety. Her influences include Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Bram Stoker. More contemporarily, she loves the work of Shirley Jackson, Agatha Christie, Victoria Holt, Margaret Atwood, and Laura Purcell.

When she landed on a story about a woman who pretended to be insane in order to write a newspaper story, she knew she’d landed on something she was meant to write.

Tonya received her BA in journalism from Indiana University. Her short fiction has appeared in, among other publications, Glimmer and Other Stories and Poems, for which she won the Cinnamon Press award in fiction.

She is a self-professed Anglophile and is obsessed with all things relating to the Victorian period. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society North America and resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and three wildly energetic sons. A Feigned Madness is her first novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

In Feigned Madness by Tonya Mitchell, we meet Elizabeth Cochrane as an ambitious young woman trying to make a name for herself as a journalist, something very few women had been able to accomplish. She has high hopes and pushes her way into the “World”, Pulitzer’s newspaper, and slowly convinces the powers that be to give her a chance. Elizabeth will do whatever it takes, however it takes to do it. Elizabeth is given a pen name that will long be remembered – Nellie Bly. As Nelly fights with all that is in her to succeed, her first journalistic test will be to get herself into Blackwell’s Island asylum. Elizabeth passes the test after being examined by several doctors and is admitted. Knowing her stay will only be for a short time before the newspaper comes to rescue her, she believes she can endure her stay.

You must read for yourself what this courageous young lady endures, what she finds, and how she handles it. This amazing feat gets Elizabeth the job she so badly wants and changes the path of journalism forever. Along the way, Elizabeth finds love, joy, sadness, friendship and so much more. Feigned Madness took me on an incredible journey back to the Victorian era of the late 1800s. If you enjoy historical fiction with real historical people and events thrown in, then this is a must-read for you. I loved Feigned Madness and applaud Tonya Mitchell on her first novel. I found it impossible not to love Elizabeth, aka Nelly, and wanted to go back in time to meet her. I urge you not to pass up Feigned Madness for you will not be disappointed.