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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The Salpêtrière asylum, 1885. All of Paris is in thrall to Doctor Charcot and his displays of hypnotism on women who have been deemed mad or hysterical, outcasts from society. But the truth is much more complicated - for these women are often simply inconvenient, unwanted wives or strong-willed daughters. Once a year, a grand ball is held at the hospital. For the Parisian elite, the Mad Women's Ball is the highlight of the social season; for the women themselves, it is a rare moment of hope.

Geneviève is a senior nurse. After the childhood death of her sister, she has shunned religion and placed her faith in Doctor Charcot and his new science. But everything begins to change when she meets Eugénie, the 19-year-old daughter of a bourgeois family. Because Eugénie has a secret, and she needs Geneviève's help. Their fates will collide on the night of the Mad Women's Ball....

©2021 Victoria Mas (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A darkly sumptuous tale of wicked spectacle, wild injustice and the insuppressible strength of women." (Emma Stonex, Sunday Times best-selling author of The Lamplighters)

"In this darkly delightful Gothic treasure, Mas explores grief, trauma and sisterhood behind the walls of Paris' infamous Salpetriere hospital." (Paula Hawkins, author of A Slow Fire Burning)

"A beautifully written debut...I have absolutely no doubt it will be one of my favourite novels of 2021." (AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs Bird)

What listeners say about The Mad Women's Ball

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Profile Image for Liz McConnon-Day
  • Liz McConnon-Day
  • 09-22-21

Engaging and endearing

A wonderful story of the time it was set in . Allowing an insight into the complexities of women’s relationships in an asylum along with a storyline of intrigue and drama.