This is a bit of a struggle to review, because I wished it was better than it was. I also quickly read [b:The Yellow Wallpaper|286957|The Yellow Wallpaper|Charlotte Perkins Gilman|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1351778524s/286957.jpg|17352354] to know the inspiration for this book and have a comparison, and unfortunately [b:The Ruining|15715847|The Ruining|Anna Collomore|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349214469s/15715847.jpg|21385514] falls short of the former's tense and (what I feel) would be a more accurate depiction of a woman's descent into madness.
This isn't to say that this was a horrible book. I just wish the writing was better, and the characters' (mostly Libby's) motivations less shaky. I didn't hate Annie's character at first. In fact, I thought that the author was telling a well-done cautionary tale of a woman that was a bit too naive, too trusting, too willing to isolate herself, and the dangers that could stem from such a situation. It was the descent into the "horror" and "madness" portion of the novel that I had a problem with. It just couldn't ring authentic for me. There were just moments that were supposed to be unnerving or hinting at unsettling, but seemed a bit too much of a calculation by the author, and times when Annie still seemed too randomly observant, analytic and aware for someone who's mind was fraying. I almost wished that the ending had switched to a third-person format to explain the mystery because I don't think that Annie should've been able to comprehend it at all.
So, a bit of a disappointment, because I really liked the idea of it.