About the BookBook: The Purple Nightgown
Author: A.D. Lawrence
Genre: Christian Historical Suspense
Release date: March, 2021
Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.
Book 10 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History
Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care.
Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?
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The Purple Nightgown is a fascinating story, although the true crime from American history it is built around is quite unsettling. Like the others in the True Colors series, much of the story is fictional, although the main perpetrator and several other characters are either actual historical figures or based on real people. As I understand it, this is A. D. Lawrence's debut novel, but her writing gives the feel of a well-seasoned author.
The two main characters, Stella and Henry, are fictional but jump vividly to life from the pages of the book. Their strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears all make them people you care about from the beginning of the story to its end. I found myself very involved in their lives and read almost the entire book in one afternoon. Their personal and relational growth, as well as an important faith thread, worked with the suspense to keep the story very engaging.
I highly recommend The Purple Nightgown to fans of inspirational historical suspense.
Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
About the Author
More from A.D. Lawrence
Times have changed. And like so many things, health retreats have experienced their own metamorphosis. Sure, they’ve always catered to people with both spare money and time, but aside from similar clientele, the face of the health spa is nothing like its early 20th century sister.
If you could afford a getaway to a modern-day health spa like The Golden Door, you’d be treated to the luxury of rest. Yoga on the beach. Deep tissue massages. A much-needed break from technology and life’s constant pressures. Mental well-being is valued almost as highly as physical health, and the two are thought to be connected. After days or weeks of pampering, you would return home relaxed, recharged, and ready to dip back into the hustle of the real world.
In 1911, during the time of The Purple Nightgown, the medical community took a diametrically different approach to health. Weight equaled health.The prevailing assumption was that any ailments were directly connected to weight. Thus, ‘fat camps’ grew in popularity. Men and women checked into sanatoriums where the aides put them through grueling exercise regimes and provided them with just enough food to sustain life. No coddling. Not many of us would subject ourselves to the treatments early health spas required.
In this era of already extreme health measures, Linda Hazzard made her mark in Washington State. Obsessed with fasting, she ran her patients through an unfathomable course of ‘diet and exercise’ that proved the undoing of many. She did give massages though, which you’ll learn more about when you read The Purple Nightgown.
Although it’s fun to long for a simpler time while reading historical books and watching shows like Little House on the Prairie, there are some modern ways of thinking and advances in human comfort I’d rather not give up. One of those is the vastly superior spa experience we have today. Somehow, a facial with soothing background music sounds much more appealing than running mile after mile every day with nothing to look forward to but a glass of orange juice or a bowl of canned tomato broth.
Hot stone massage anyone?
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To celebrate her tour, A.D. is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.