Publishers Weekly hails best-selling author Kathy Hepinstall’s Blue Asylum as a “richly compelling Civil War-era tale.”
After defying her husband during the war, Virginia plantation wife Iris Dunleavy is deemed insane and taken to Sanibel Asylum to receive treatments for her unruliness. There she meets another “broken” soul - Confederate soldier Ambrose Weller - and falls in love with him.
©2012 Kathy Hepinstall (P)2012 Recorded Books
“… An absorbing story that explores both the rewards and perils of love, pride, and sanity itself.” (Publishers Weekly)
I ended up not liking this book as much as I was hoping to; it was good but not great. I wanted to care more for the characters but they were a little one dimensional. The realization of what it was that sent Ambrose over the edge was the best twist in the book, and made me understand him so much better. But we really never got the entire story on Iris I always felt there was something missing, we get hints and events are alluded to but we never really get her entire story and I think had iris been more fleshed out it would have been a much better book.
I liked the premise of this book as it is post Civil War and how just because you stand up to your husband you can be sent away to an asylum, the cast of characters in the asylum were interesting but we never got to know any of them really well. The author showed how the Civil war divided people’s beliefs and how even if you were on the other side you could still understand some things about the other.
However there is something missing in this story I’m not sure if it is the one-dimensional characters, the unsatisfying ending or that she didn’t give us enough information about the asylum and Iris’ husband and the consequences of what happened at the end of the book. There is one part near the end I rewound twice thinking I’d missed something there is a jump in time here that confused me. The ending was very anti-climatic and felt rushed.
Kate Forbes narrated this book or should I say read this book because that’s kind of how it felt to me it was just a straight reading, every once in a while there was an accent but it wasn’t every time that person spoke so there were inconsistencies in the narration.
This is a quick ok read, but really nothing that is going to stick with me for very long.
2 ½ to 3 Stars
Which came first... the books or the glasses?
This is a beautiful story and excellently narrated. I listened for hours and hours I was so absorbed. The narrator did the different voices very well, even the men voices. She was a pleasure to listen to. The story itself was true literature. You can get a synopsis by reading the publisher's summary. I highly recommend this book. I also highly recommend "City of Women" by David R. Gillham. The stories are completely different but again, you will be reading more than just a book, you will be reading true literature. An author who knows how to put words on a page and give them such impact that you will be thinking about them long after the story is over.
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