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Blue Asylum (Platinum Readers Circle (Center Point))

Hepinstall, Kathy

4,898 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1611734266 / ISBN 13: 9781611734263
Published by Center Point Pub, 2012
Used Condition: Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP65225471

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Blue Asylum (Platinum Readers Circle (Center...

Publisher: Center Point Pub

Publication Date: 2012

Book Condition:Good

Edition: Lrg.

About this title


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, seas and military blockades, Iris meets its wide-ranging collection of residents -- some seem sane, some wrongly convinced they are crazy, some charmingly odd, and 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 beckons to Iris?

Blue Asylum is a vibrant, beautifully imagined, absorbing story of the lines we 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.


A Letter to Readers from Kathy Hepinstall

Dear Amazon Readers,
They say madness is a double-edged sword. It can cause you great misunderstanding, institutionalization, and even physical torture. But it’s so handy when you fall in love. In Blue Asylum, Iris Dunleavy and Ambrose Weller find themselves suffering from each of these effects of madness--misunderstood, sequestered in a sanitarium, and subjected to cruel treatment. And yet they still manage to fall, madly, in love.

Speaking of love, I have to say I love these characters. I want the best for them. I hesitate to cause them pain, even for their own good. I've never had children, but they are like children to me. They are real. They exist despite the fact that they never did, and when I hear their names I feel a chord of recognition.

Iris. I think of a headstrong woman who believes she can control the fate of those she loves.

Ambrose. The name literally feels blue--ironically, the color of the uniform he fought against.

Wendell, the boy who decides to help Ambrose and Iris escape the insane asylum, gives me a worried smile.

And Dr. Cowell's earnest and desolate pomposity makes me want to surrender to him what he can never have, or reach inside him and remove that craving impulse to matter somehow.

I researched and started writing Blue Asylum on the island of Sanibel. It's a strange and largely wild place, pristine and ominous, flat blue-green water and breezes and crocodiles. In 1864, the year Blue Asylum takes place, it must have been even more beautiful, dangerous, unpredictable. It's a good place for a story, I think, and a good place for my characters to grow up.

I hope you enjoy the madness and passion of my characters. Maybe you'll even see--a little, at least--of it in yourself.

Many regards,
Kathy Hepinstall

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