Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall narrated by, Kate Forbes

Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall narrated by, Kate Forbes

I want to put the synopsis here today because as you can see it sounds like a great book , then see my Review:
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

My Review:

I ended up not liking this book as much as I was hoping to; it was good but not great. I wanted to care more for the characters but they were a little one dimensional. The realization of what it was that sent Ambrose over the edge was the best twist in the book, and made me understand him so much better. But we really never got the entire story on Iris I always felt there was something missing, we get hints and events are alluded to but we never really get her entire story and I think had iris been more fleshed out it would have been a much better book.

I liked the premise of this book as it is post Civil War and how just because you stand up to your husband you can be sent away to an asylum, the cast of characters in the asylum were interesting but we never got to know any of them really well. The author showed how the Civil war divided people’s beliefs and how even if you were on the other side you could still understand some things about the other.

However there is something missing in this story I’m not sure if it is the one-dimensional characters, the unsatisfying ending or that she didn’t give us enough information about the asylum and Iris’ husband and the consequences of what happened at the end of the book. There is one part near the end I rewound twice thinking I’d missed something there is a jump in time here that confused me. The ending was very anti-climatic and felt rushed.

Kate Forbes narrated this book or should I say read this book because that’s kind of how it felt to me it was just a straight reading, every once in a while there was an accent but it wasn’t every time that person spoke so there were inconsistencies in the narration.

This is a quick ok read, but really nothing that is going to stick with me for very long.

2 ½ to 3 Stars

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