From Daylight To Madness

The Hotel

Fiction - Horror
222 Pages
Reviewed on 12/13/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite

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.

Michelle Randall

All Isabelle ever wanted was to be loved and have a son, only it was not to be. Her son came too early, he cried for three minutes then he was gone, and no one said anything to her. In 1873, giving birth was so much different than today, so little was known, but for some reason, everything that could ever go wrong was always blamed on the mother, and that was where Isabelle found herself. Her mother-in-law kept her drugged, her husband ignored her and she was left to try to navigate her grief alone. Finally, after deciding she wasn't grieving properly, her mother-in-law and husband conspired to send her to a "hotel" for the summer. From Daylight to Madness: The Hotel by author Jennifer Anne Gordon is Isabelle's story of grief and enlightenment, her understanding of society, and her fight against the norms of the day. This story made the struggles of that time period real and gave me a sense of understanding.

From Daylight to Madness: The Hotel by author Jennifer Anne Gordon is a well-written and insightful look into the way women were treated in the late 1800s. The so-called hotel is like a mental ward, only without the stigma and without the kind of care that people really need. It was more a place to send someone to get them out of your life and keep them in a drugged state where they just existed. I found myself screaming at the injustice that was being heaped on the people at the hotel because medical knowledge is so much better today than it was then, but at the same time, I felt deeply for the residents. This is not a feel-good story, but more of a real-life story. This is what happened in that era. It also makes me thankful for the advances in medicine that we have now, yet at the same time, I cheered for Isabelle as she fought the norms of the times. This was definitely not my usual read, but it was so much better in that it called me to be more aware of the world around me and the way people have been and are treated.

Susan Sewell

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.