Firstly, I was gifted my copy of Madam by Quercus as part of their Word of Mouth Bestsellers event last year. I also received an e-arc via Netgalley. All these thoughts are my own.
Madam was just the book I needed to read last week! It kept me engrossed from start to finish and made me question everything I was reading. I kind of guessed what was going on but nothing really prepared me for the whole picture. Wynne has an impeccably creepy and patient writing style, covering what she needs to and keeping you on your toes throughout. The main narrative is interspersed with ancient myths which was an interesting foreshadowing technique – I really liked how it worked within the story.
Rose was an interesting character, feminist and loyal to her students, I did feel like she only wanted the best for the girls however sometimes it did come across as quite arrogant in the steps she took. It drove me crazy willing her to do and not to do things but I was sympathetic to the position she found herself in and curious about where it would take her in the story.
I’m not going to say this book was perfect, there are elements I really didn’t like surrounding the male characters and occasionally the narrative would skip ahead before retracing its steps which I didn’t think it needed but it was a damn good read and I could imagine it being made into a film. The setting was creepy, the protagonist endearing and the narrative style was very thought provoking. The fact that Madam is a debut is even more impressive, Wynne writes as if she’s been doing it for decades and I’ll be keeping an eye out for any future works!
I wouldn’t say this was a scary read but it is atmospheric and gothic in its style. It has an academic setting which appeals to a lot of readers (me included!) and has a mystery at its heart and feminism in its veins.
Trigger Warnings for death, suicide, drowning, abortion, alcoholism, and fire although they aren’t described in detail (in my opinion), I want to warn you just in case.
Madam is out now in ebook form here (amazon affiliate link) and is due for physical hardback release in May. You can preorder it here (amazon affiliate link) and here (Bookshop.org affiliate link).