Who’s Reading: Judy, Adult Services Librarian

Last Best Book Judy Read: The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore

Why Judy Liked It: This book takes place in the 1800’s when women had no rights at all. Elizabeth Packard, a housewife and mother of six sits across from a husband of 21 years who is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened  by Elizabeth’s intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So her husband makes a plan to put his wife back in her place by committing her to an insane asylum.

The conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, IL is overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous than Elizabeth’s husband.  Along, with other inmates she finds she is not the only one who is not insane. The women on the ward have been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line – conveniently labeled “crazy” so their voices are ignored.

Great read – keeps you wondering if she will be let out of the mental institute and how she will do it. She loves her children who she cannot see.

In Three Words: Fighting for Freedom