Teaser Tuesday is courtesy of Miz B’s Should Be Reading Blog. Each Tuesday I will post a snippet from a book I’m reading, or just finished reading. The name and author of the book as well a brief synopsis of the book is included.
Today I’m doing something a little different. I’m offering you a teaser from a book I’ve already read and reviewed. This Thursday, author Stephanie Carroll, will be the inaugural guest writer in my new feature The Writer’s Connection. So please come back to read her thoughts on books as a way of connecting to others.
A White Room
by Stephanie Carroll
At the close of the Victorian Era, society still expected middle-class women to be “the angels of the house,” even as a select few strived to become something more. In this time of change, Emeline Evans dreamed of becoming a nurse. But when her father dies unexpectedly, Emeline sacrifices her ambitions and rescues her family from destitution by marrying John Dorr, a reserved lawyer who can provide for her family.
John moves Emeline to the remote Missouri town of Labellum and into an unusual Gothic house where her sorrow and uneasiness edge toward madness. Furniture twists and turns before her eyes, people stare out at her from empty rooms, and the house itself conspires against her. The doctor diagnoses hysteria, but the treatment merely reinforces the house’s grip on her mind
Emeline only finds solace after pursuing an opportunity to serve the poor as an unlicensed nurse. Yet in order to bring comfort to the needy she must secretly defy her husband, whose employer viciously hunts down and prosecutes unlicensed nurses and other medical practitioners. Although women are no longer burned at the stake in 1900, disobedience is a symptom of psychological defect, and hysterical women must be controlled.
A Victorian Era, Gothic novel of madness and secrets, A White Room presents a fantastical glimpse into the forgotten “Cult of Domesticity,” where one’s own home could become a prison and a woman has to be willing to risk everything to be free.
I peered down the hall and spotted a glow from the study. I took the dining room oil lamp, grasping the handle shaped like a strange woman with insect-like wings stretched out below the bone-colored glass cover. I exited the room into the dark hallway, the basement entrance just behind me. I felt as if whatever I’d awakened in the basement might reach out and try to snatch me as I slunk past it. I threw myself into the library and exhaled, having reached safety. John popped his head up and acknowledge my entrance with a puzzled expression and then returned to shuffling through some papers in a leather briefcase. When he found a particular document, he pulled it out and place it on the desk.
Let me know what you think of the teaser? Did it encourage you to put in on your to be read list? or to do some more reasearch? Are you ready to purchase your own copy? Use one of the links below.
Thanks for playing Teaser Tuesday! And remember to come back on Thursday to read this authors guest post.