Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Book Review: Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
Initially we're introduced to a lot of characters quickly and I was confused, but that quickly sorted itself out. I loved the setting. I don't think I've ever read a book set in the middle of the civil war, which didn't go from beginning to end (unless it was about a single battle). Certainly not one where the war was a more peripheral event, like here, instead of front and center. I'm not sure I bought how many of these Southerners were opposed to slavery (felt very anachronistic to me) but if that was seen at the time as a sign of insanity, perhaps asylums would be filled with abolitionists. I also liked the setting of Sanibel Island which was almost like another character in the book. I did not like how the character of Lydia just disappeared halfway through the book. (Yes, she was given an exit, but you don't just write off a major character in the middle.) A couple of the twists at the end I thought were quite clever. One I saw coming and one I did not. It was a very fast read which is always a good thing, and overall I enjoyed it despite a couple of minor quibbles. But it didn't really stick with me.
I am interested what we'll talk about at book club. There are a lot of themes--sanity, slavery, freedom, power, control, blue, the ocean. That usually makes for a good discussion.
I borrowed this book from the library.