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Reviewed by Mimie Odigwe for Readers' Favorite
In Voices in the Sanitorium by Amy Lynn Walsh, Kathleen and Collin have to relocate with their four children from Manhattan to Scranton, near the ruins of West Mountain Sanitorium, where people with tuberculosis went to be treated in the 1930s. Aislyn, their eldest teenage daughter, adjusts to the move badly, and after a night with new friends at the ruins, she becomes a shell of her former self, growing thinner by the day, seeing and hearing things, and experiencing violent mood swings. Things begin to get darker when Aislyn purchases the diary of Bridget, a teenager who recovered from tuberculosis in the same sanitarium years before, and the family ventures deeper into the ruins.
This book was good, spooky, honest, and brimming with originality. Amy Lynn Walsh described the different periods with a masterful hand. Using Bridget’s diary as a portal to the past, these two eras flow seamlessly into each other. I couldn’t get enough of Bridget’s diary. It was sad, yet hopeful and beautiful. I appreciate Walsh’s research on tuberculosis and the West Mountain Sanitorium, and how she conveyed it to us without being boring or over-descriptive. Told in different formats, a blog, a diary, emails, thoughts, and letters, Voices in the Sanitorium is a page-turner. The history and the mystery keep you itching to know how Aislyn, Bridget, and the abandoned grounds are connected. The ending doesn’t disappoint and you will be left begging for more and rushing off to Google.