This was a fascinating account of what it could have been like for a woman suffering during the hysteria craze, before doctors knew anything much about what caused certain illnesses. The fact that it had its roots based on a real person and real journals from the time period made it authentic; it wasn't just anyone either - Alice was the younger sister of the famous and privileged James family. The reading goes a bit more slowly because the vocabulary and style are rich and complicated. Worth every minute though. I don't think the title does the book justice - it could have been more descriptive, as was the prose.