Review: Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nelly Bly

I’m a liiiiittle behind on book reviews. I finished this one at the top of June. I know, I’m lame, but I’m still professionally awesome, an’ don’choo forget it.

This was way, way cool. I have no desire to be Nelly Bly, but man, wouldn’t she make an awesome Nancy Drew character for a serial? If it all happened the way she described in her story, she’s one tenacious lady!

So her editor’s like, “Yo, Nell, I want you to go undercover at Blackwell’s and report your experiences. You game?” And she’s like, “You got it!” And so, she like, totally does. Kid’s only nineteen, and she switches boarding houses, convinces all her cohabitants that she’s loony, gets herself arrested, then convinces the judge–who knew her as a reporter–that she’s loony. And so she gets herself carted off to the nuthouse, where (gasp! surprise!) not all are nutty.

My only criticism about this was that she gave away the ending at the beginning:

I left the insane ward with pleasure and regret–pleasure that I was once more able to enjoy the free breath of heaven; regret that I could not have brought with me some of the unfortunate women who lived and suffered with me, and who, I am convinced, are just as sane as I was and am now myself.

Could’ve done without that, as it kills the Big Suspense, but plenty of other stuff kept me interested. I love stories like this, from Mary Sullivan’s My Double Life (which I can’t find my copy of and I NEEDED it last night and OMG does anyone know where it is, Kimmy, did I lend it to you?) to The Longest Day. Exposés are The Awesome. So is Nelly Bly.