The Gray Chamber
Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American CrimeWill Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late? On Blackwell Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving. With her late father’s fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. Do any of Edyth’s friends care that she disappeared? At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?

The Gray Chamber Details

TitleThe Gray Chamber
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 2020
PublisherBarbour Books
ISBN-139781643522357
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Mystery, Fiction

The Gray Chamber Review

  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    "Mothers never fail to present their daughters as a marriageable option...[Edyth Foster was]...one of the few women who had her future secured without needing to put on a facade to secure a husband's pocketbook." The year was 1887, the place was New York City.Edyth, a twenty-four year old "free spirit", answered to the beat of her own drum. She enjoyed riding her velocipede "in lieu of a respectable carriage". She preferred uncorseted, split skirts to fashionable gowns. "Books were too quiet a "Mothers never fail to present their daughters as a marriageable option...[Edyth Foster was]...one of the few women who had her future secured without needing to put on a facade to secure a husband's pocketbook." The year was 1887, the place was New York City.Edyth, a twenty-four year old "free spirit", answered to the beat of her own drum. She enjoyed riding her velocipede "in lieu of a respectable carriage". She preferred uncorseted, split skirts to fashionable gowns. "Books were too quiet a pastime. She needed to be in motion or fiercely concentrating". Edyth loved fencing, especially with her close friend and fencing instructor Raoul Banebridge. The Banebridge and Foster families traveled in the same social circles.Edyth's so-called "eccentricities" were soon to be perceived as signs of insanity. In the late 1800's, a women might be committed to an asylum on the word of her husband or family for insanity caused by childbirth, overwork, infidelity, or in Edyth's case, eccentricity.Upon the death of her parents, Uncle Boris had become her guardian. In a matter of months, Edyth would come into her inheritance...but...not if Boris could apply a clause discovered in the family will. "...if [Edyth dies] unmarried and childless, or is declared mad and committed to an asylum, the fortune reverts to [Uncle Boris] and [his] heir.""The Gray Chamber" by Grace Hitchcock is a work of historical romance focusing on the true crime of imprisoning women on Blackwell's Island, arguably based upon scanty proof, often an act of convenience achieved by lining the pockets of doctors willing to recommend placement in a brutal facility of the time period. Edyth's mutual support team included Poppy, Nellie Bly and Raoul Banebridge (Bane).Blackwell Island, located on the East River between Manhattan and Queens, housed a lunatic asylum, jail, and workhouse. In 1887, journalist Nellie Bly went undercover "under assignment from Joseph Pulitzer", by assuming the cloak of insanity. Her expose was later published in the book "Ten Days in a Mad-House".Thank you Barbour Books and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The Gray Chamber".
    more
  • Dominique
    January 1, 1970
    I was hooked by the time I was 25% through this book. It's not your typical chick lit, & it's based on actual historical events. The protagonist is a strong, strong-willed, unconventional young woman who used her position to live a life of intention instead of one of leisure, which cost her her freedom & very nearly her life.
    more
  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    There is a lot to like about The Gray Chamber. There's the admirable hero and heroine, a heroine that is ahead of her time in participating in fencing and a novel based upon actual events.After reading and very much enjoying The White City, my expectations for The Gray Chamber were rather high. The bits of humor that I loved in The White City were very rare in The Gray Chamber. The fictional story line wasn't as engaging for me. The change in Bane's opinion of Edyth from friendship to seeing her There is a lot to like about The Gray Chamber. There's the admirable hero and heroine, a heroine that is ahead of her time in participating in fencing and a novel based upon actual events.After reading and very much enjoying The White City, my expectations for The Gray Chamber were rather high. The bits of humor that I loved in The White City were very rare in The Gray Chamber. The fictional story line wasn't as engaging for me. The change in Bane's opinion of Edyth from friendship to seeing her in a romantic light happened rather abruptly. Some events were a little cliche. My favorite character was secondary character Lavinia. I expected that she would be bratty but was actually looking for true friendship and genuinely cared for others. That was a lovely surprise. I also liked how Poppy was described and the background of how she got to her mental state. Both of these characters were written plausibly. Overall, The Gray Chamber was a good novel. It just wasn't as charming as The White City.My gratitude to publisher Barbour for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and the opinions expressed are my own.
    more
  • Karen R
    January 1, 1970
    Another thrilling story in the True Crimes series! A romantic suspense that swept me up in the reading and held my rapt attention throughout. I couldn't read it fast enough! "Fear not, for the Lord will be with you." I found myself quickly attached to the main characters, and held my breath when it seemed all hope was lost. A few Bible verses and prayers of the characters, especially when in peril, kept the story from becoming too dark, and brought inspiration to the tale. I shudder to think Another thrilling story in the True Crimes series! A romantic suspense that swept me up in the reading and held my rapt attention throughout. I couldn't read it fast enough! "Fear not, for the Lord will be with you." I found myself quickly attached to the main characters, and held my breath when it seemed all hope was lost. A few Bible verses and prayers of the characters, especially when in peril, kept the story from becoming too dark, and brought inspiration to the tale. I shudder to think that some of these events actually happened. The treatment of the mentally ill in the 1880's and corruption of the system were horrible. Nellie Bly's account and her part in the tale was well done, adding authenticity to poor Edyth's experience. The conclusion was done smoothly, with a gentle wrap up, making for a very satisfying read. Recommend for readers who enjoy historical romantic suspense with faith, based on real events. For further reading about the historical treatment of the mentally ill, I recommend Jane Kirkpatrick's book, One Glorious Ambition, about the work of Dorothea Dix. 5 stars!(An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)
    more
  • Ashley Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    I am really enjoying the True Colors series from Barbour Publishing! The Gray Chamber did not disappoint! First of all this cover is really haunting and really reflects the atmosphere that is created in the book. The story was intriguing and the characters were smart, capable, and easy to like. This novel really showcased some of the unfair and brutal treatments that some patients endured on Blackwell Island. It was chilling. As soon as Edyth entered the asylum I felt tense and anxious. There I am really enjoying the True Colors series from Barbour Publishing!  The Gray Chamber did not disappoint! First of all this cover is really haunting and really reflects the atmosphere that is created in the book.  The story was intriguing and the characters were smart, capable, and easy to like.   This novel really showcased some of the unfair and brutal treatments that some patients endured on Blackwell Island.  It was chilling.  As soon as Edyth entered the asylum I felt tense and anxious.  There was such a sense of hopelessness to her situation, but she didn't lose hope in spite of her dire circumstances.  There were several intense and suspenseful scenes in this book that had me on the edge of my seat!  I was happy with the conclusion of the book and also felt like I had learned a bit of history within the context of this story.  
    more
  • Best In Suspense - Kelly Underwood
    January 1, 1970
    For Fans of Suspense, Historical Fiction, and True CrimesThis is the fourth installment in the True Color series which takes strange historical crimes and turns them into suspense-filled fiction stories. Grace Hitchcock’s The Gray Chamber focuses on a dark period in the late 1800’s surrounding the poorly run women’s lunatic asylum called Blackwell Island.Edyth Foster’s life is about to take off. She’s set to take over her parent’s estate after their death, and she finds the love of her life. But For Fans of Suspense, Historical Fiction, and True CrimesThis is the fourth installment in the True Color series which takes strange historical crimes and turns them into suspense-filled fiction stories. Grace Hitchcock’s The Gray Chamber focuses on a dark period in the late 1800’s surrounding the poorly run women’s lunatic asylum called Blackwell Island.Edyth Foster’s life is about to take off. She’s set to take over her parent’s estate after their death, and she finds the love of her life. But her uncle get her falsely committed to the asylum where Edyth withstands the horrible conditions. She meets Nelly Bly, an undercover reporter, and the two try to stay alive in the asylum.The Gray Chamber puts readers right into the middle of these historical events. I hadn’t actually heard about Nelly Bly until reading The Gray Chamber, and the story surrounding Blackwell Island is creepy in its own right. But the author adds the lovable and quirky Edyth to the plot and readers endure the heartbreaking conditions of the asylum right along side her. Edyth’s spunk challenges the societal norms of the time period with her dress and actions. She even takes up fencing, which wasn’t a thing women did in the 1800’s. Edyth isn’t the damsel in distress, which made her plight all the more harrowing as she fights for her life from inside the asylum.The Gray Chamber is intriguing and full of suspenseful twists. Sadly, much of the elements in the story happened. If you love true crimes, this is one novel you don’t want to miss. The fast-paced action plus likable characters makes this a must read.I received a complementary ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
    more
  • Jeanie
    January 1, 1970
    This is the most intense, riveting novel I’ve read so far in this multi-author “True Colors” series by Barbour! I could hardly put it down for wanting to find out what would happen next. The main characters are so well defined I really felt as if I knew them and the descriptions of the asylum made me feel as if I were there, suffering along with Edyth, Poppy, Nellie, and the others. There is intrigue and incredible drama throughout.Edyth Foster is an orphan; her parents died when she was a teen. This is the most intense, riveting novel I’ve read so far in this multi-author “True Colors” series by Barbour! I could hardly put it down for wanting to find out what would happen next. The main characters are so well defined I really felt as if I knew them and the descriptions of the asylum made me feel as if I were there, suffering along with Edyth, Poppy, Nellie, and the others. There is intrigue and incredible drama throughout.Edyth Foster is an orphan; her parents died when she was a teen. Before their death, Edyth’s father had begun her fencing lessons that continue to date, and she loves it. She is also in love with her fencing master, Bane, and has been for several years, showing no interest for any other single man. Her father’s brother, Boris, has cared for her since her parent’s death. He lives with her in the home she inherited, and in a few short months, she will have full control of her inheritance. At that time, she plans to pay for an apartment for Uncle Boris, his new wife, and his wife’s daughter Lavinia, just returned from four years in Paris.At the party given to welcome Lavinia, Boris has invited three men she hasn’t seen before. They are doctors at the well-known Blackwell’s Island where the lunatic asylum is located. A huge influx of women being sent there has sent the men to a facility at a different location. They claim the women are treated well there, but Edyth will soon find out differently.When Lavinia helps Edyth dress like the young lady she is, Raoul “Bane” Banebridge sees her true beauty, and wonders why it took him so long to realize she is a young woman as well as his best friend – and he wants to marry her, a dream come true. They begin to date seriously, until the day she is to meet Bane and she doesn’t show up. Her uncle comes up with one tale after another regarding her whereabouts, but it isn’t until a local attorney divulges the truth when drunk that he finds the truth. Uncle Boris’ wife found a clause in the will that gives him a way to take the entire fortune. All he had to do was find doctors willing to claim her insane and get her committed to Blackwell’s Island.The asylum is beyond Edyth’s worst nightmare. The poor food and beatings endured by the patients are horrible enough. The worst is the Gray Chamber, where indescribable treatments take place that steal the women’s memories and the essence of who they are. The loss of Bane is almost unbearable. Edyth tried to escape, had almost swum back to the mainland, and was captured again. From Poppy, she learns a whole new relationship with the Lord. From Nellie Bly, she gains hope of getting off the island for good. Until she is threatened with the chamber.Greed and betrayal are terrible things when let loose on those who love us. Love, and the power of God are even stronger forces, however, and He can bring good out of even the worst circumstances for those who love Him. Some of the scenes are truly difficult to read, as are many truths of our history. The suspense of discovering the depth of betrayal and whether Edyth can get out before it’s too late, ultimately her entire future, make it a fabulous read. I highly recommend it to those who appreciate well-written Christian novels that highlight spiritual growth and love despite some of the worst circumstances one can be subjected to.From a thankful heart: I received a complimentary ARC of this novel; a review was not required.
    more
  • Brandy {The Review Booth}
    January 1, 1970
    The Gray Chamber is fictional story based upon true and atrocious events as its backbone. Blackwell Island in New York is the home of a mental hospital built to house patients potentially until their last breath. Edyth and her fortune left to her by her parents are under the guardianship of her uncle until she turns 25. She has no immediate intentions to conform to society's expectations of a lady or enter a marriage that would strangle her free spirit. Believing her place in society as secure The Gray Chamber is fictional story based upon true and atrocious events as its backbone. Blackwell Island in New York is the home of a mental hospital built to house patients potentially until their last breath. Edyth and her fortune left to her by her parents are under the guardianship of her uncle until she turns 25. She has no immediate intentions to conform to society's expectations of a lady or enter a marriage that would strangle her free spirit. Believing her place in society as secure she enjoys activities that society deems eccentric for a woman to enjoy - fencing and riding her velocipede about town. Edyth's happiness and security is threatened when her uncle finds a terrifying loophole in her parents will - her uncle has Edyth taken by force to live out her days in the insane asylum on Blackwell Island. As Edyth has estranged herself from high society will anyone even notice that she's gone?This book was a fast read for me - equal parts historical fiction, suspense, true crime and a dash of romance. I really do love novels with strong female characters that are eccentric and/or nonconforming of society's standards women should apparently obey. Edyth's character will capture the heart of those who love this type of character - and she is anything but weak. The horrific treatment of patients (even those not surrendered or forced into an asylum) by doctors and scientists alike is just abhorrent for so many different reasons. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction, Victorian era novels, social injustice books and with strong female characters. This book isn't overly religious in my opinion - just that religion was more a part of daily life as well as the time period the book takes place in. This book is part of a series of novels based upon true crime: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime of which there are currently three other novels.If you're curious you can read Ten Days in a Mad-House published by female undercover news reporter Nellie Bly (it's also a Kindle Unlimited title) and you can find at least some of her news articles online as well but they're a little hard on the eyes to read (at least for me). The island itself is now known as Roosevelt Island and the hospital's entrance - the Octagon, was refurbished as the lobby for high-end residential housing which you can visit. Another interesting article regarding historical psychology I stumbled upon is Civil Commitment in the United States written by Megan Testa, MD and Sara G. West, MD on the NCBI website. I would like to thank NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for providing me with a copy of The Gray Chamber to give an honest review of and experience - it is one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
    more
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOLI received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .True Colors: Historical Stories of American CrimeFiction Based on Strange, When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOLI received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.True Colors: Historical Stories of American CrimeFiction Based on Strange, But True, HistoryWill Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late? On Blackwell Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving. With her late father’s fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. Do any of Edyth’s friends care that she disappeared? At the asylum, she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?This series of books makes me run hot and cold - some are wonderfully written and enjoyable, some are not - this one was middle of the road. Very few people would know who Nellie Bly was and the fact that Nellie was on Blackwell Island is, well, stranger than fiction. We are, of course, speaking of a time when a man could put his wife in prison for "hysteria" so he could divorce her and marry his mistress. The story was well written but my attention wandered so for me it was only middle of the road interesting.
    more
  • Elysian Fields
    January 1, 1970
    I rarely buy multiple copies of the same book, but this is going to be one of them! I have the ebook and I am buying the paperback. This story was AMAZING!! This is my second story from this author and she is firstly becoming a favorite, must read, instant click author. This is a historical romance with American crime and a few Christian verses. This book was addictive, informative, heartbreaking and redemptive! I loved how the author wrote a true crime story, with romance intertwined and made I rarely buy multiple copies of the same book, but this is going to be one of them! I have the ebook and I am buying the paperback. This story was AMAZING!! This is my second story from this author and she is firstly becoming a favorite, must read, instant click author. This is a historical romance with American crime and a few Christian verses. This book was addictive, informative, heartbreaking and redemptive! I loved how the author wrote a true crime story, with romance intertwined and made me believe in the power of love again.Psychology and pre-war medical treatments and laws are a particular interest of mine (and romance) this book covers all of those and is perfect for a great many readers. It was scary just how fast and with such little proof the main character was committed to the hospital. I had goose bumps reading this. Edyth is a strong lady and I was passionate about her getting her HEA. This story was brilliant in its prose and form and addictive in its plot and characters. I could not have loved this story more. I highly recommend it to all readers (history lovers, medical loves, romance lovers, Victorian lovers and the rest)! I had the extreme pleasure of receiving an ARC from NetGalley and I am leaving my honest review. This is going on my book gift guide for sure!
    more
  • Anita Ojeda
    January 1, 1970
    Edyth Foster doesn’t fit the mold of a Gilded Age high society woman. Nor does she want to. She doesn’t care if people call her an old maid (she turns 25 in a few months), or eccentric because she loves to ride her bicycle and sword fight. A rich inheritance makes her life comfortable, and she fears just one thing—losing Bane.Raoul ‘Bane’ Banbridge has acted as Edyth’s fencing master for almost ten years. And for almost ten years Edyth has loved him. But he sees her as just a friend, nothing Edyth Foster doesn’t fit the mold of a Gilded Age high society woman. Nor does she want to. She doesn’t care if people call her an old maid (she turns 25 in a few months), or eccentric because she loves to ride her bicycle and sword fight. A rich inheritance makes her life comfortable, and she fears just one thing—losing Bane.Raoul ‘Bane’ Banbridge has acted as Edyth’s fencing master for almost ten years. And for almost ten years Edyth has loved him. But he sees her as just a friend, nothing more. When she shows up on her mount in Central Park with a new riding habit and a flattering hairdo, Bane finally sees Edyth as a beautiful young woman, not just his friend and fencing partner. He struggles with his newfound regard for her, not wanting to ruin a good friendship because his affections have turned to love.Neither one knows that a danger stalks their relationship—a danger so deep and sinister that neither can imagine it. Hitchcock has crafted a masterful tale set in Blackwell Island, New York’s home for the insane. During this time period women wielded no power and the criminal-minded could easily prey on them. The author relies on meticulous historical research to provide the backdrop for Edyth and Bane’s romance. The suspense will keep the reader hooked from the start.
    more
  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    The Gray Chamber by author Grace Hitchcock is the first in the True Colors Series I have read. This is a romantic suspense based on actual true events that happened in the horrendous Blackwell Island Asylum for Women in 1886. The book started a bit slow for me because I do not usually read gothic romance, but the fictional character of Edyth Foster is very interesting. Her parents died when she was younger and her father's brother is her guardian. Edyth is a bit of an eccentric woman of The Gray Chamber by author Grace Hitchcock is the first in the True Colors Series I have read. This is a romantic suspense based on actual true events that happened in the horrendous Blackwell Island Asylum for Women in 1886. The book started a bit slow for me because I do not usually read gothic romance, but the fictional character of Edyth Foster is very interesting. Her parents died when she was younger and her father's brother is her guardian. Edyth is a bit of an eccentric woman of twenty-four who is not governed by the rules of polite society of her day. She enjoys painting and learning to fence at a club and she would prefer to ride her velocipede into town than sit in a carriage. She has a strong faith and is very physically fit which are the main reasons she is able to survive the diabolical plan her uncle has set into motion.During this time in history, if a woman was an inconvenient problem it was easy to have her committed to an asylum. The atrocities and conditions the women in the asylum suffer are documented by Nellie Bly/Brown. My heart broke as I read of the harsh treatment and the abuse of women who were held against their will with no hope of escape.Publication Date January 1, 2020Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and give an honest review of this book.
    more
  • Jessica Herr
    January 1, 1970
    As soon as I saw that this was the next book in the series I knew I HAD to read it. The cover first caught my attention and than reading what the book was about I knew it would be good.I loved the character of Edyth. She was amazing. Her spunk was unrivaled. The fact that she didn't care what society thought made her so unique and in the time of 1880's would have been scandalous. I loved how her character evolved throughout the book but still remained true to herself.Bane was so amazing! His As soon as I saw that this was the next book in the series I knew I HAD to read it. The cover first caught my attention and than reading what the book was about I knew it would be good.I loved the character of Edyth. She was amazing. Her spunk was unrivaled. The fact that she didn't care what society thought made her so unique and in the time of 1880's would have been scandalous. I loved how her character evolved throughout the book but still remained true to herself.Bane was so amazing! His steadfastness throughout the book is what makes people keep reading! I mean who wouldn't love a man you can fence? I have always loved sword fighting so I immediately loved this character. As the book went on I only loved him more!I found my self reading very quickly through parts because I had to find out what happened next. I highly encourage people to read this book.I had heard of this story from history before I had read this book and was fascinated by the history this book is based upon. Readers know that though this is fiction things like this actually happened in real life! This book showed how we need to trust God in all things, be still and know Him and Scripture Memorization is so important. Storing up God's Word in our heart! This author is new to me BUT will certainly be among my favorites! I couldn't put this book down. I read it in 3 days or less!
    more
  • Jennifer Purcell
    January 1, 1970
    The Gray Chamber is the latest release in the True Colors series. While not the most gripping and suspenseful book I’ve ever read, Grace Hitchcock still manages to weave a compelling tale that will have you turning pages as fast as you can.I loved Edyth. I loved her eccentricities, how she was true to herself. All this, as well as her camaraderie with Bane, made it easy for me to root for their relationship. But Bane’s sudden interest did have me furrowing my brow a bit. Although I suppose that The Gray Chamber is the latest release in the True Colors series. While not the most gripping and suspenseful book I’ve ever read, Grace Hitchcock still manages to weave a compelling tale that will have you turning pages as fast as you can.I loved Edyth. I loved her eccentricities, how she was true to herself. All this, as well as her camaraderie with Bane, made it easy for me to root for their relationship. But Bane’s sudden interest did have me furrowing my brow a bit. Although I suppose that once Bane realized what had been right in front of him, it was in his character to want to act on it. Bane struck me as a go-getter.I liked how Hitchcock explored the horrors of the asylum without going into too much graphic detail and making the novel too dark. While The Gray Chamber isn’t a lighthearted read, it wasn’t overly dark either. I also liked how she explored how the asylum’s treatment affected the patients.The suspense surrounding Edyth’s stay and the hope of her escape makes the novel suspenseful. I was hooked from the beginning of the novel, but from the moment Edyth was taken to the asylum, I couldn’t stop reading. I pushed through so I could get to the ending and discover how she was going to get free.All in all, this was a wonderful, well-written novel perfect for a rainy day.(Review will go live on the blog on Jan. 10 at 5 pm)
    more
  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    I have enjoyed the novels in the True Colors series, ones about historical crime and unusual situations. This one was particularly interesting. Hitchcock did a good job of weaving historical fact and a fictional woman incarcerated on Blackwell's Island, a hospital for insane women. In the 1880s, women had few rights and few ways to find recourse when wronged. This novel paints a horrific picture of the conditions in the hospital, conditions that were being noted by the undercover female I have enjoyed the novels in the True Colors series, ones about historical crime and unusual situations. This one was particularly interesting. Hitchcock did a good job of weaving historical fact and a fictional woman incarcerated on Blackwell's Island, a hospital for insane women. In the 1880s, women had few rights and few ways to find recourse when wronged. This novel paints a horrific picture of the conditions in the hospital, conditions that were being noted by the undercover female reporter, Nellie Bly.I like the many issues covered in the plot. There is greed to the point of kidnapping an heiress and bribing doctors to see her declared insane. Women had defined social behavior at the time and going outside of the boundaries, such as riding a bicycle or learning to fence, was frowned upon. A major issue was faith in God, a challenge for the heroine under such cruel circumstances.I recommend this book to readers who enjoy thought provoking fiction about a dark situation in the past. You'll get a good dose of suspense along with historical reality and a hint of romance. While it is fiction, the author notes its basis in actual events. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
    more
  • Donna (More Than a Review)
    January 1, 1970
    Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock is a romantic suspense based on a true story from history. Shocking and appalling what was allowed to happen to women back in that time. Edythe is a character that you will enjoy. She is a tad eccentric and can be since she does not need to marry for money. Her parents passed away and she has inherited their estate and money. She only has a few more months before control of it will move from her uncle to her.She has had a crush on her fencing instructor, Bane. He Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock is a romantic suspense based on a true story from history. Shocking and appalling what was allowed to happen to women back in that time. Edythe is a character that you will enjoy. She is a tad eccentric and can be since she does not need to marry for money. Her parents passed away and she has inherited their estate and money. She only has a few more months before control of it will move from her uncle to her.She has had a crush on her fencing instructor, Bane. He finally sees her as more than a student and she goes missing. He searches for her and is the only reason she was found.Her uncle has sent her to Blackwell Island asylum. It is horrifying what was happening to the women in the asylum.The author did a great job of telling the story.Sexual content – kissingViolence – the atrocities at the asylum are horrifying and the women hopeless.I received this book from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review.You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
    more
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful, heartbreaking, romantic, strong. The christian leaning of this did not overwhelm the story. And I am not usually a romance reader, but the love and romance was clean and woven into the mystery and suspense and action really well. I knew this was based on true events going into it and was positively horrified by what Edyth and the other women experienced at the asylum. I know those kinds of things (and worse) were reality for many women. I am so thankful for people like Nelly Bly who Beautiful, heartbreaking, romantic, strong. The christian leaning of this did not overwhelm the story. And I am not usually a romance reader, but the love and romance was clean and woven into the mystery and suspense and action really well. I knew this was based on true events going into it and was positively horrified by what Edyth and the other women experienced at the asylum. I know those kinds of things (and worse) were reality for many women. I am so thankful for people like Nelly Bly who revealed to the world the depravity and evil going on in these institutions. So many lives were improved because of her bravery. I respect the way the author wrote this story in a way that put forth the truth in all it's evil, but that also showed hope.Thank you to Barbour Publishing for a free digital galley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I have to admit I was skeptical of this series going in. But now I'll have to go back and read the first in this series, The White City!
    more
  • Victoria
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book I've read by Grace Hitchcock. It is her second book in the True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime. I read and enjoyed her first book, The White City, and this book is just as enjoyable. Her writing is very realistic to the point I had to stop reading and resume later as I got so caught up in the story.I don't like to give a synopsis as you can read that elsewhere. I want to give you my opinion of a book. I give this book a 5 out of 5 rating. I truly enjoyed This is the second book I've read by Grace Hitchcock. It is her second book in the True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime. I read and enjoyed her first book, The White City, and this book is just as enjoyable. Her writing is very realistic to the point I had to stop reading and resume later as I got so caught up in the story.I don't like to give a synopsis as you can read that elsewhere. I want to give you my opinion of a book. I give this book a 5 out of 5 rating. I truly enjoyed this story. It was well written and sadly, true to how things happened back then. The main characters were very believable, you loved the good ones and despised the bad. The way some were treated tore at my heart. The editing was also well done. Poor editing can ruin an otherwise great book. The story flowed well and at times kept me on the edge of my seat.I requested to read and review this book through Netgalley. I am not required to leave a review and if I do, it is not required to be a positive review. This review is my own and my honest opinion. When this book is published I will post this review on sites such as Amazon, B&N, Booksamillion, etc.
    more
  • Ceci
    January 1, 1970
    This was my introduction to the True Colors series, and I was hooked from the get-go! The fact that it is based off true stories makes it all the more compelling.We meet Edyth Foster, an eccentric young woman who is about to come into a large inheritance. But there’s a catch, and Edyth soon finds herself locked away behind the cold, cruel walls of the Blackwell Island Lunatic Asylum. Desperate to escape and be reunited with the man she loves, Edyth sets out to reclaim her life before it’s too This was my introduction to the True Colors series, and I was hooked from the get-go! The fact that it is based off true stories makes it all the more compelling.We meet Edyth Foster, an eccentric young woman who is about to come into a large inheritance. But there’s a catch, and Edyth soon finds herself locked away behind the cold, cruel walls of the Blackwell Island Lunatic Asylum. Desperate to escape and be reunited with the man she loves, Edyth sets out to reclaim her life before it’s too late.The story is told through two voices: one of Edyth and the other, her dear friend and fencing master, Bane. I found both characters’ perspectives complemented each other well as they puzzled and mused over their predicaments. It also felt fairly cinematic as I was reading, like I am already casting the Gray Chamber movie in my head! Overall, I quite enjoyed this book, and I look forward to more from the True Colors series! Thank you to Barbour Publishing and #NetGalley for the digital advanced readers copy!
    more
  • Laura Langley
    January 1, 1970
    The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock proved an interesting read. I was hooked from the beginning, drawn in by the lovable character of Edyth Foster, an eccentric artist, who bucks the system in 1887 in New York City by wearing split skirts and riding a bicycle in public. (Spoiler alert!) In this historical fiction novel, Edyth finds herself committed to an asylum by an enemy, and the reader gets an inside look at the reality of the treatment of patients of Blackwell's Island in the 1880s. While The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock proved an interesting read. I was hooked from the beginning, drawn in by the lovable character of Edyth Foster, an eccentric artist, who bucks the system in 1887 in New York City by wearing split skirts and riding a bicycle in public. (Spoiler alert!) In this historical fiction novel, Edyth finds herself committed to an asylum by an enemy, and the reader gets an inside look at the reality of the treatment of patients of Blackwell's Island in the 1880s. While the book showed the disturbing treatment of the Blackwell Island patients, I still found it hard to put down, wanting to know how the story would end. The author's style is enjoyable, the setting realistic, and the characters rich. If you're a fan of historical fiction, you enjoy a clean read, you'll enjoy Grace Hitchcock's The Gray Chamber.Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for this honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
    more
  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great read, but it did give me nightmares, and mainly because it is based on fact. This horrible place really existed, and was used to actually destroy people, sick and sad.There are smiles to be found when we follow our daring Ms. Edyth as she goes about NY City, doing what we take for granted, but back in the late 1880’s was considered unladylike. Then we have her Uncle, yes, he is her guardian, at least for a few more weeks, she will then be 25, and able to assume control over her This was a great read, but it did give me nightmares, and mainly because it is based on fact. This horrible place really existed, and was used to actually destroy people, sick and sad.There are smiles to be found when we follow our daring Ms. Edyth as she goes about NY City, doing what we take for granted, but back in the late 1880’s was considered unladylike. Then we have her Uncle, yes, he is her guardian, at least for a few more weeks, she will then be 25, and able to assume control over her fortune. She also seems to finally gotten the attention of the man she loves, but can it ever be?What we have here, plain and simple greed, and how they go about stealing the money, is just plain horrible. Make sure you read the author’s notes at the end of this book, sad but true!I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Barbour. and was not required to give a positive review.
    more
  • Christine Lowe
    January 1, 1970
    Grace Hitchcock's The Gray Chamber is a well written book about a shameful period in the late 1800's when women could be locked away on the say so of her husband or legal guardian. The story describes the horrendous treatment that women received if they were declared "insane" and put into a mental facility. Edyth Foster is an unconventional twenty five year old woman who lost both parents in an accident when she was a child. In 1887 her Uncle Boris decides he and his new wife should inherit Grace Hitchcock's The Gray Chamber is a well written book about a shameful period in the late 1800's when women could be locked away on the say so of her husband or legal guardian. The story describes the horrendous treatment that women received if they were declared "insane" and put into a mental facility. Edyth Foster is an unconventional twenty five year old woman who lost both parents in an accident when she was a child. In 1887 her Uncle Boris decides he and his new wife should inherit Edyth's fortune. The only way for that to happen was if Edyth died or was committed to an insane asylum. Her commitment and treatment culminating in the Gray Chamber makes an exciting read. There is a beautiful relationship between Edyth and her long time friend Bane, who teaches fencing, that sweetens the story.I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from Barbour Publications through NetGalley.The opinions expressed are entirely my own.#TheGrayChamber. #NetGalley
    more
  • Jennifer K
    January 1, 1970
    This historical fiction was filled with suspense which kept me turning pages. I absolutely loved the development of the wonderful relationship between the hero and heroine. This romance is not straight forward but it is definitely swoon worthy! Hitchcock creates these unique and memorable characters and puts them in this gripping storyline. The heroine is strong, resourceful and not at all what society would expect. I would want her in my corner. I appreciated the faith lessons learned during This historical fiction was filled with suspense which kept me turning pages. I absolutely loved the development of the wonderful relationship between the hero and heroine. This romance is not straight forward but it is definitely swoon worthy! Hitchcock creates these unique and memorable characters and puts them in this gripping storyline. The heroine is strong, resourceful and not at all what society would expect. I would want her in my corner. I appreciated the faith lessons learned during such incredibly difficult circumstances, such a great reminder of the true value of trusting God. I don’t want to forget to mention the fantastic use of humor throughout this engaging story. Hitchcock is a talented writer and as I finished this book I knew that it had been time well spent. I will be watching for her next novel. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
    more
  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    The Gray Chamber True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime by Grace Hitchcock is a Christian Historical Romance Thriller Fiction set in 1887. Ms. Hitchcock s newest book is based on the real crimes of committing unwanted family members to asylums. She explores the various reasons for committal, treatments and many abuses. Nellie Bly the famous journalist even makes an appearance. I found this book interesting, exciting and somewhat terrifying to think these crimes could happen. I thought The Gray Chamber True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime by Grace Hitchcock is a Christian Historical Romance Thriller Fiction set in 1887. Ms. Hitchcock ́s newest book is based on the real crimes of committing unwanted family members to asylums. She explores the various reasons for committal, treatments and many abuses. Nellie Bly the famous journalist even makes an appearance. I found this book interesting, exciting and somewhat terrifying to think these crimes could happen. I thought the characters were at times not completely believable but at the same time very likable. There was an excellent Christian message throughout about trusting God in all things. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book. 4 Stars
    more
  • Floraljoy
    January 1, 1970
    Epic and heart wrenching:What an amazing book! The writing style was great, with the story flowing well and it drew me in right from the very beginning. It was disturbing and difficult to read at times due to the injustice and sad subject matter; yet I wanted to keep going in order to see how things turned out. There is plenty of angst and it wrenches your emotions but it is also a story about trusting and relying on God during hardships.The treatment of women and the mentally ill (actual and Epic and heart wrenching:What an amazing book! The writing style was great, with the story flowing well and it drew me in right from the very beginning. It was disturbing and difficult to read at times due to the injustice and sad subject matter; yet I wanted to keep going in order to see how things turned out. There is plenty of angst and it wrenches your emotions but it is also a story about trusting and relying on God during hardships.The treatment of women and the mentally ill (actual and falsely accused) was shocking and deplorable. It made me count my blessings and appreciate anew all that has been bestowed upon me!I enjoyed reading about spunky and quirky Edyth and the love and dedication bestowed upon her by Blane. All in all an enlightening and enjoyable read.I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
    more
  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.The book takes its name from a room at Blackwell’s Island that was used to subdue and torture mentally ill women. The heroine—Edyth Foster—is a strong, capable and somewhat eccentric 25-year-old. The hero is her fencing master and love interest—Bane. The action begins in the first chapter and moves along at a breakneck pace to the end. Hitchcock based her I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.The book takes its name from a room at Blackwell’s Island that was used to subdue and torture mentally ill women. The heroine—Edyth Foster—is a strong, capable and somewhat eccentric 25-year-old. The hero is her fencing master and love interest—Bane. The action begins in the first chapter and moves along at a breakneck pace to the end. Hitchcock based her characters on real people who were incarcerated at Blackwell Island. I felt a few of the situations were a bit contrived, but overall the story was excellent. I was appalled at the treatment of perfectly sane women (as well as mentally ill) who were abandoned by society. I would recommend this book.
    more
  • Paigelauren Forrester
    January 1, 1970
    Heart-Breaking wonderful tale.this books is amazing, i was enthralled from the first page i couldn't help but devour this book. it is a tale of amazing strength and love. Edyth is a strong independent character that you cant help but support through-out the story.even though the characters are fictions the story is based on true advents and this story make you realize how easy it was back then to fob off a relative simply by saying there insane. i am still reeling from this epic tale. at the end Heart-Breaking wonderful tale.this books is amazing, i was enthralled from the first page i couldn't help but devour this book. it is a tale of amazing strength and love. Edyth is a strong independent character that you cant help but support through-out the story.even though the characters are fictions the story is based on true advents and this story make you realize how easy it was back then to fob off a relative simply by saying there insane. i am still reeling from this epic tale. at the end the author even refers to the book that she used as reference and i love that because it opens my reading to books i wouldn't normal venture in.this is a ten star review its a shame i can only give it five stars. i will be following this author and cant wait to read more by her.
    more
  • Louise Pledge
    January 1, 1970
    Everything in Edyth Foster's life was going well. She had inherited a vast fortune, and the man she'd long been in love with was beginning to show signs of reciprocating. You could say that everything was perfect... until it wasn't. In order to gain control of her mansion and her inheritance, her evil uncle had her committed to an insane asylum.The rest was rather difficult reading for me: hence, the reason for 4 stars, rather than 5. I was once locked up in a psyche ward of a hospital, and Everything in Edyth Foster's life was going well. She had inherited a vast fortune, and the man she'd long been in love with was beginning to show signs of reciprocating. You could say that everything was perfect... until it wasn't. In order to gain control of her mansion and her inheritance, her evil uncle had her committed to an insane asylum.The rest was rather difficult reading for me: hence, the reason for 4 stars, rather than 5. I was once locked up in a psyche ward of a hospital, and conditions were so much more humane, of course, but still awful for me! So, probably, I could relate a little too much to the horrors that Edyth endured.And how interesting to find that this was based on a true story!
    more
  • Rosie
    January 1, 1970
    The Gray Chamber is a page turning tale of greed and betrayal. Edyth Foster was not your typical socialite. She was adventuresome. She loved fencing, riding her velocipede, drawing and painting, though she might be impulsive, she was not insane. How could she prove that from Blackwell's Island? Deception, betrayal, abuse, and danger battle against truth, honor, courage, and love. WOW! I could not put this book down even when the hair on the back of my neck stood up!I loved Poppy, Nellie Bly and The Gray Chamber is a page turning tale of greed and betrayal. Edyth Foster was not your typical socialite. She was adventuresome. She loved fencing, riding her velocipede, drawing and painting, though she might be impulsive, she was not insane. How could she prove that from Blackwell's Island? Deception, betrayal, abuse, and danger battle against truth, honor, courage, and love. WOW! I could not put this book down even when the hair on the back of my neck stood up!I loved Poppy, Nellie Bly and Raoul. Grace Hitchcock has done an excellent job with a difficult reality that isn't completely left to history. I received an ARC of this book from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley. I was under no obligation to post a review.
    more
  • Kat, aka
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very good book! I liked the main characters, Edyth and Bane (Raoul). I really enjoy strong female characters, and Edyth definitely was one. Her uncle treated her really badly, and Edyth just grit her teeth and held onto her faith in order to make it through. Bane was also a strong character, and he did everything in his power to rescue the woman he loved, but it was definitely Edyth who was my favorite. I also enjoyed Nellie, for reasons I won't go into here (because of spoilers). All This was a very good book! I liked the main characters, Edyth and Bane (Raoul). I really enjoy strong female characters, and Edyth definitely was one. Her uncle treated her really badly, and Edyth just grit her teeth and held onto her faith in order to make it through. Bane was also a strong character, and he did everything in his power to rescue the woman he loved, but it was definitely Edyth who was my favorite. I also enjoyed Nellie, for reasons I won't go into here (because of spoilers). All in all, if you're looking for a good Christian read or don't mind a little scripture in a story, pick this book up! I'm glad I did. 4 stars!
    more
Write a review