About the Book
Book: The Gray Chamber
Author: Grace Hitchcock
Genre: Christian Historical / Suspense
Release Date: January, 2020
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?
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I wanted to read this story. I really wanted to. But, then I opened it and began reading, and then I really, really didn’t want to! You see, I read another book in the past year about someone who was trapped in an insane asylum. And that story has stayed with me, and really shook me to my core. So… I just wasn’t sure I really wanted to go there…But, it is also one that you don’t want to miss! And, saying that, on to the rest of my review…This story is one that is so awful in all its honesty. Based on a true story, one of which the reality is so horrific you’d wish it to be fiction. (it would feel better to me if I could say, oh well, it’s all made up…but sadly, that is not the case!)
This is a story about Edyth Foster. Edyth’s only problem (or rather the only one that really has a large bearing on this story) is that she is an orphaned heiress. When her guardian, who is her devious uncle, learns of a clause in her deceased father’s will stating that all of her fortune passes to him if Edyth is deemed insane and committed to an asylum, he has it done. He buys off enough doctors and lawyers to make it happen.
This takes Edyth to Blackwell Island, where the insane asylum is located, and this is truly your worst nightmare. The unimaginable horrors faced there by those inmates….sigh. It made my stomach churn.
Well written, intense, heart breaking, and yet hopeful. This story is worth reading and gives us a peek into a time and place in history that has been mostly forgotten.
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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.
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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 below to enter.