Title: Blue Asylum
Author: Kathy Hepinstall
The Blurb: Amid the mayhem of the Civil War, Virginia plantation wife Iris Dunleavy is put on trial and convicted of madness. It is the only reasonable explanation the court can see for her wilful behaviour, so she is sent away to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a good, compliant woman. Iris knows, though, that her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on notions of justice, cruelty, and property. On this remote Florida island, cut off by swamps and seas and military blockades, Iris meets a wonderful collection of residents–some seemingly sane, some wrongly convinced they are crazy, some charmingly odd, some dangerously unstable.
My Thoughts: BLUE ASYLUM started off very well, I was drawn in almost from page one. Then the author lost me as I found a few story threads that just didn’t sit well with me. The first being that I wasn’t really given enough information at first to tell me why I should care about any of the main characters. When their backgrounds were eventually revealed I had already been lost as a reader. The second was the ‘romance’ between Iris and Ambrose – it felt so contrived, no explanation or gradual development, one minute they’re playing chess the next they are kissing. It wasn’t an ahhh moment but more of a yuk!! The final thread was actually the ending – I felt that there were so many unanswered questions that I was left completely unfulfilled as a reader. There was SO much potential with this book I found the concept to be very interesting and the plot was good in principle – just didn’t follow through enough for me.
Rating: D – Average was better to read than to do the housework
More about the Author – Click Here