The Gray Chamber

book coverBy Grace Hitchcock

** Publication Date 1 January 2020 **

Edyth is a quirky, orphaned socialite in New York during the late 1800s. She lives in her ancestral home with her Uncle Boris who has recently remarried. She’s as sane as they come, if not a little different. Edyth wears garish clothing and fences for fun. 

Suddenly Edyth finds herself being scrutinized by a group of doctors hired by her uncle and new aunt. They don’t approve of her activities, nor her desire to stay single in a world where women are supposed to marry by twenty-five. Though she is warned about what is happening, she refuses to believe that her uncle could be so devious. Until the worst happens and she finds herself institutionalized.

This was the first of the True Colors series that I’ve read, but I enjoyed it immensely. Fiction based on actual historical events, Blackwell Island was a real mental institution that catered to putting women away for absolutely the vaguest of reasons. With the investigative journalism of one brave Nellie Bly, the horrors came to light. While Edyth’s story is fictionalized, these events really did occur.

Hitchcock has written a fabulous fictional account of these events. Her ability to make Edyth and her world very real led me to believe that this might have been a real accounting of a woman. I was completely wrapped up in this story from the start and could not put it down. I would look forward to reading another of these books.

4 stars

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