Blue Asylum

Blue Asylum

3.62 (5,556 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 willful behavior, 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. Which of these is Ambrose Weller, the war-haunted Confederate soldier whose memories terrorize him into wild fits that can only be calmed by the color blue, but whose gentleness and dark eyes beckon to Iris. The institution calls itself modern, but Iris is skeptical of its methods, particularly the dreaded "water treatment." She must escape, but she has found new hope and love with Ambrose. Can she take him with her? If they make it out, will the war have left anything for them to make a life from, back home?" Blue Asylum" is a vibrant, beautifully-imagined, absorbing story of the lines we all cross between sanity and madness. It is also the tale of a spirited woman, a wounded soldier, their impossible love, and the undeniable call of freedom. http: //www.hmhbooks.com/blueasylum/
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Product details

  • Hardback | 270 pages
  • 142 x 211 x 25mm | 386g
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • 0547712073
  • 9780547712079
  • 1,019,328

Flap copy

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 willful behavior, 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. Which of these is Ambrose Weller, the war-haunted Confederate soldier whose memories terrorize him into wild fits that can only be calmed by the color blue, but whose gentleness and dark eyes beckon to Iris?
The institution calls itself modern, but Iris is skeptical of its methods, particularly the dreaded "water treatment." She must escape, but she has found new hope and love with Ambrose. Can she take him with her? If they make it out, will the war have left anything for them to make a life from, back home?
"Blue Asylum" is a vibrant, beautifully imagined, absorbing story of the lines we all cross between sanity and madness. It is also the tale of a spirited woman, a wounded soldier, their impossible love, and the undeniable call of freedom.
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Back cover copy

""Blue Asylum" casts a spell that keeps the reader turning pages as if in a trance. The horrors of the Civil War are made real and specific in this story of a wounded soldier and a persecuted wife who find love and hope on an isolated island in the Deep South. Kathy Hepinstall is a master storyteller in full command of her craft." --Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of "A Woman of Independent Means"
""Blue Asylum" is a gripping story of love and madness in the midst of the Civil War--I couldn't put it down!" --Kathleen Grissom, author of "The Kitchen House"
"With "Blue Asylum," Kathy Hepinstall presents the reader with the rare and delicious quandary of whether to race through and find out what happens to her characters or to linger over her vivid, beautifully crafted sentences. For me, the only resolution was to read it twice." --Hillary Jordan, author of "Mudbound "and "When She Woke"
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Review quote

"What sets "Blue Asylum" apart is Hepinstall's luscious prose and the tension within each character that keeps the reader maddeningly off balance...Hepinstall makes inspired use of the Civil War as a means to explore notions of freedom, courage and, especially, opposing principals that both prevent and create change. Battle scenes, glimpsed briefly in Ambrose's excruciating flashbacks, deliver knockout punches of quiet horror all the more affecting for their subtlety."
--"Atlanta Journal-Constitution""A fine novel embroidered with rich imagery."
--"Kirkus Reviews""Features excellent pacing and strong character development that animate not only the inmates at the Sanibel Asylum but the characters from the preasylum lives of Iris and Ambrose. A first-rate choice for fans of intelligent historical romances."
--"Library Journal," starred review"Hepinstall exquisitely illustrates the fate of societal outsiders in this richly compelling Civil War-era tale of the former mistress of a Virginia plantation, now confined to a beautiful island asylum, and her burgeoning love for a traumatized Confederate soldier... Deftly interweaving past and present, Hepinstall sets the struggles of her characters against the rigidity of a traditional Southern society and the brutality of war in an absorbing story that explores both the rewards and perils of love, pride, and sanity itself."
--"Publishers Weekly ""A deep sense of the natural world, often-lyrical prose, and some touches of southern Gothic help carry along this tale of obsession and redemption."
--"Booklist""With "Blue Asylum," Kathy Hepinstall presents the reader with the rare and delicious quandary of whether to race through and find out what happens to her characters or to linger over her vivid, beautifully crafted sentences. For me, the only resolution was to read it twice."
--Hillary Jordan, author of "Mudbound" and "When She Woke """Blue Asylum" is a gripping story of love and madness
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About Kathy Hepinstall

Kathy Hepinstall is the author of three previous novels, "The House of Gentle Men "(a "Los Angeles Times" bestseller)," The Absence of Nectar" (a national bestseller)," " and "The Prince of Lost Places. "She is an award-winning creative director and advertising writer, whose clients have included top brands in American business. She grew up in Texas.
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Rating details

5,556 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 17% (949)
4 40% (2,225)
3 33% (1,811)
2 8% (462)
1 2% (109)
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