Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock

I have enjoyed the novels in the True Colors series, ones about historical crime and unusual situations. This one was particularly interesting. Hitchcock did a good job of weaving historical fact and a fictional woman incarcerated on Blackwell's Island, a hospital for insane women. In the 1880s, women had few rights and few ways to find recourse when wronged. This novel paints a horrific picture of the conditions in the hospital, conditions that were being noted by the undercover female reporter, Nellie Bly.

I like the many issues covered in the plot. There is greed to the point of kidnapping an heiress and bribing doctors to see her declared insane. Women had defined social behavior at the time and going outside of the boundaries, such as riding a bicycle or learning to fence, was frowned upon. A major issue was faith in God, a challenge for the heroine under such cruel circumstances.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy thought provoking fiction about a dark situation in the past. You'll get a good dose of suspense along with historical reality and a hint of romance. While it is fiction, the author notes its basis in actual events.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Grace Hitchcock is the author of several novels and novellas. She is a member of ACFW and holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. She lives in southern Louisiana with her husband and son. You can find out more at .

Barbour, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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