The Mad Women's Ball
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The Mad Women's Ball : The prize-winning French bestseller

3.84 (2,151 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A darkly sumptuous tale of wicked spectacle, wild injustice and the insuppressible strength of women' EMMA STONEX, Sunday Times bestselling 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

The Salpetriere 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.

Genevieve 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 Eugenie, the 19-year-old daughter of a bourgeois family. Because Eugenie has a secret, and she needs Genevieve's help. Their fates will collide on the night of the Mad Women's Ball...

'Essential reading' COSMOPOLITAN

'A deftly woven tale of hope and pain, judgement and redemption, cruelty and kindness. Utterly captivating and profoundly affecting.' Sunday Times bestseller, MIRANDA DICKENSON

'Enter the dance of this little masterpiece and let yourself be dazzled. Assured of hitting the bestseller lists' THE PARISIAN

'A lovely, moving first novel, a cri de coeur against the condition of women in this world' MARIE FRANCE

'The Mad Women's Ball is as lush on the inside as it is on the outside! It's richly immersive, taking us right into the heart of nineteenth-century Paris.' SHELLEY HARRIS, author of the Sunday Times bestseller JUBILEE
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 28mm | 400g
  • DOUBLEDAY
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0857527037
  • 9780857527035
  • 1,993,805

Review quote

THE MAD WOMEN'S BALL is a darkly sumptuous tale of wicked spectacle, wild injustice and the insuppressible strength of women. Mas brings the world of La Salpetriere to life with passion and fury, unveiling a hypnotic theatre that is as moving as it is macabre. * Emma Stonex, Sunday Times bestselling 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, Sunday Times bestselling author of A SLOW FIRE BURNING and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN * A deftly woven tale of hope and pain, judgement and redemption, cruelty and kindness. Utterly captivating and profoundly affecting, the story of The Salpetriere lingers long in the mind after the stunning conclusion. I loved it. * Miranda Dickinson * A beautifully written debut set in Paris in 1885, Victoria Mas' characters come to life within a sentence while her storytelling compels you to turn the page. I loved The Mad Women's Ball and have absolutely no doubt it will be one of my favourite novels of 2021. * AJ PEARCE, author of DEAR MRS BIRD * The Mad Women's Ball is as lush on the inside as it is on the outside! It's richly immersive, taking us right into the heart of nineteenth-century Paris. From Genevieve, Eugenie and the women of Salpetriere we learn what it is that keeps women locked up - and the extraordinary ways in which they might escape. * Shelley Harris, author of Jubilee *
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About Victoria Mas

Victoria Mas is thirty-two. The Mad Women's Ball, her first novel, has won several prizes in France (including the Prix Stanislas and Prix Renaudot des Lyceens) and been hailed as the bestselling debut of the season. She has worked in film in the United States, where she lived for eight years. She graduated from the Sorbonne University in Contemporary Literature.
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Rating details

2,151 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 26% (564)
4 41% (873)
3 26% (551)
2 6% (137)
1 1% (26)
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