Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The Gray Chamber
Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?
Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime
On Blackwell’s Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.
With her late parents’ fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. And Edyth fears she will never be found.
At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?
My thoughts: I knew a little bit about Nellie Bly and her undercover work in the asylum that opened the public's eyes to what was happening to some women of that day. I can't imagine how horrible it would be to be declared insane when you ware of sound mind, and to be sent to a place like Blackwell's Island, an insane asylum that shows why we have to have regulations with hospitals and mental institutions.
I love how unconventional Edyth is. When she is sent to Blackwell, she has to believe that she will find a way to escape or that her true love will find her before she succumbs to the place.
A lot of the story is based on true facts, which makes it all the more suspenseful and chilling! This whole series has been excellent, but this one might be one of my favorites yet, since it captures the imagination and really gets the reader thinking about what one would do in the situation Edyth and Nellie are in.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.
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About the Author:
Grace Hitchcock is the author of three novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. The White City is her debut novel and releases March 2019 with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com.
More from Grace
I am thrilled to share with you my second novel in the True Colors series, The Gray Chamber, which is set in New York City in 1887. I loved writing about Edyth Foster, our cat-rescuing, spunky heroine who spends her days painting, fencing with her dreamy instructor, and avoiding society at all costs, which as you can imagine, comes back to haunt her before the end. I’ve never written about a character who despised reading, so that was a new one for me. Edyth just doesn’t like to sit still long enough to finish a book, but you’ll find out why later.
I am pretty certain the librarians at my local branch are wondering what in the world my hobbies are, judging from the stacks of fencing books for beginners, histories of New York crime in the 19th century, and Nellie Bly’s Ten Days in a Mad-House, and more that I have continuously checked out since moving back to Louisiana.
The inspiration for this book came from Nellie Bly’s scandalous exposé for Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper, The World. In reading Nellie’s articles, I was shocked at the grounds by which the asylum would commit women and that’s when I discovered a tiny mention about an heiress with family members who had her tucked away so they could have her fortune. . .and Edyth Foster was born.
I hope you will enjoy reading about our eccentric leading lady and her fencing master hero, Raoul “Bane” Banebridge. If you are interested in seeing pictures of the asylum and to see what I pictured the characters looking like, check out my Pinterest board here.
Thank you for joining the fun for the Celebrate Lit tour! Join my author newsletter for more bookish news and to find out what is coming next! Just enter your e-mail address and name here. Happy Reading!
“With beautiful description and shiver-worthy scenes, Grace Hitchcock has penned an incredible fiction story based on true history. The Gray Chamber was a fascinating and chilling read. Edyth’s story had me glued to the pages. But as I journeyed with the heiress and her eccentricities, the greed of her family which saw her locked up in an asylum against her will made me grateful for the freedoms I have today. And made me pray that my voice would never be silenced. The nightmare was brought to life so vividly that I found myself holding my breath and then cheering on Bane as he never gave up on Edyth. This is a story that will stick with me for a long time…”
~Kimberley Woodhouse – Carol-Award winning and Best-Selling Author of more than twenty books, including: MissTaken Identity, The Express Bride, The Golden Bride, The Patriot Bride, and The Mayflower Bride.
For a complete list of blog stops, Go here!
To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of The Gray Chamber!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link here to enter.