Saturday, November 25, 2017

Book Review: 'Color of Darkness' by Ruth J. Hartman

I am not insane. Strange words to start a romance novel.
An unusual historical novel set mainly in Bedlam, the well known Regency madhouse in London. Lydia Sullyard is dragged away to Bedlam without any reason being given for her incarceration. Her family desperately try to obtain her release, but they are refused permission to see her. However, her brother-in-law’s cousin, Stratford Bexley, manages to gain admittance and then comes daily to visit her. Lydia had developed feelings for Stratford before her isolation from society, but knew the man would never feel the same about her.
The author has researched her subject well. The inner thoughts of Lydia could have been boring but instead Lydia’s thoughts and reactions to her situation are engaging and made me want to read on. I don’t know how anyone survived the hell of Bedlam in real life – the rats, the screams of truly mad people, the brutality of the wardens – but Lydia’s way of coping was truly inspirational.
I did however have one moment of confusion. Who arranged Lydia’s release?
A very good regency novel with the two main characters gradually growing to respect and understand each other. Lydia softens and Stratford becomes more human. Very good book.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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