Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall

Blue AsylumBlue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book really snagged me right from the beginning because I love historical fiction and I love books set in insane asylums, a win win!

Accused of being insane by her husband, Iris Dunleavy is put on trial, judged to be mad and sent off to an asylum on Sanibel Island in Florida. Set during the Civil War, the story unfolds through the eyes of Iris, as we follow her journey by train and boat to this remote location.

Iris is an attractive woman, a lady, not the usual type of person that is committed to such a place and she isn’t insane. Her only crime is not being a compliant wife for her plantation owning husband. She abhors slavery, and the cruelty and violence that her husband inflicts on his own slaves. Her husband hopes that she can be ‘cured’ at the asylum and come back to him a more malleable wife.

At the beginning I thought the theme of this book would center around the lack of rights that women held during this time period (or for many years afterwards for that matter). After all we have Iris’s husband easily getting her sent away for displeasing him and we have the doctor at the asylum thinking that women who speak their minds or get emotional suffer from hysteria and need to be administered a cure.
But somewhere along the line the writing and the story seemed to get a little watered down and lose some of its power. It was still a good book, but I felt like the last half of the story didn’t live up to its beginnings.


3 thoughts on “Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall

  1. I am disappointed when stories peter off into something less interesting to how it started. Perhaps the cover suggests it’s more a story that focuses on the main character? It seemed great, so sad it didn’t work out. 😦

    • It was disappointing but I still feel like I’m glad I read it. There have been times when I’ve come to the end of a book and wished I’d follow my own 60 page rule! That’s where I allow myself to walk away from a book if it hasn’t hooked me by page 60. At least it wasn’t one of those 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by and for the comment!

      • I do that too. Almost always. You seem more generous than I — if there’s a really boring/annoying style or issue in the book I put it down immediately. Too little time. 😉

        But at least it was an okay read. Always something gained (at least I chant that to myself).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s