She went looking for the truth, but it found her first: The Redemption of Morgan Bright by Chris Panatier #bookreview #TheRedemptionofMorganBright #NetGalley

What would guilt make you do?
Hadleigh Keene died on the road leading away from Hollyhock Asylum. The reasons are unknown. Her sister Morgan blames herself. A year later with the case still unsolved, Morgan creates a false identity, that of a troubled housewife named Charlotte Turner, and goes inside.
Morgan quickly discovers that Hollyhock is… not right. She is shaken by the hospital’s peculiar routines and is soon beset by strange episodes. All the while, the persona of Charlotte takes on a life of its own, becoming stronger with each passing day. As her identity begins unraveling, Morgan finds herself tracing Hadleigh’s footsteps and peering into the places they lead.

💜💜💜💜.5

Hi and welcome to my review of The Redemption of Morgan Bright!

What drew me to The Redemption of Morgan Bright was the gorgeous cover (the colours, the flowers, the pupa!), the intriguing title (who is Morgan Bright and why does she need redemption?) and the even more intriguing blurb (honestly, they had me at asylum), and the author, whose debut The Phlebotomist has been on my list for quite a while (thanks to Jo’s review here) and I figured I might as well start with The Redemption of Morgan Bright and work my way back if I liked it. Dear reader, I will definitely work my way back!

Usually around the 50% mark of a proof, I have made up my mind about it, and random sentences of what I might say in my review start popping up in my mind. With this one I never got anything beyond “what the hell is going on”, “what in the fuckity fuck” and “how on earth will I review this one”. Well, I finished it and I still feel that way 😅

The Redemption of Morgan Bright had me questioning everything. The tagline mentions The Truth, but what was the truth and who was telling the truth? I couldn’t be sure. I was kept in the dark for the longest time, and at times I felt sort of lost and confused. While that can be massively annoying, for this story and in this setting it was perfect and I have no doubt I was meant to feel exactly this way.

One thing I did, and do, know, though? The writing was so evocative I saw the whole thing play out before my mind’s eye. Even the bits I really would have preferred not to 😬 

While reading, it was clear that the author did his research, and I also much appreciate him clarifying past and present events that inspired and helped shape this book. I’ve also added the books he mentions in his acknowledgments to my list.

If you enjoy speculative fiction that is slightly but magnificently off-key and really rather unsettling with it, I would urge you to give The Redemption of Morgan Bright a try. Even more so should you happen to have a thing for asylum settings and psychiatry practices. 

The Redemption of Morgan Bright is out in digital formats and paperback on 23 April.

Massive thanks to Agry Robot and NetGalley for the digital proof. All opinions are my own.

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