About the Book
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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Stella Burke is desperate to find relief for her severe headaches, so she seeks help from an author who claims that fasting will cure any ailment. Linda Hazzard has a famous book and a well-known "spa" and Stella has the money to go there. She's willing to try anything to get rid of those headaches!
Author A.D. Lawrence paints a vivid picture of Stella's many emotions during her journey. The debilitating headache pain, her efforts to find help, the surprise that turns to dismay when she learns of the treatments, and her overwhelming terror when she realizes what is truly going on. This time at the clinic also gives Stella time to reflect on her life. Has she allowed other people to influence her whole life? Will she be able to tell her friend Henry how much he means to her?
The Purple Nightgown is fiction based on historical facts, and it is truly a disturbing story. Stella and Henry are fictitious characters but Linda Hazzard and several of the other clients really existed. In the early 1900s, Hazzard operated a clinic (sanitarium) that promised good health. Her methods included fasting that were severe, inhumane, and bordering on torture. Worst of all, clients who entered her clinic were cut off from the world and they often didn't leave!
As I read this story, I found it hard to understand Hazzard's mindset but we know that evil has always existed and greed is often a contributing factor! The Purple Nightgown is A.D. Lawrence's debut novel and it's a great addition to the True Colors historical crime series. It is chilling but it's also a novel of hope and faith. I recommend it to all who enjoy historical Christian fiction.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via Celebrate Lit. There was no obligation for a positive review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
About the Author
A.D. Lawrence makes her home in Northeastern Nebraska. She has been passionate about writing and true crime for years, and her two obsessions melded into the goal of authorship. She is an active member of the ACFW, writes a true crime blog, won the 2019 Crown Award and was a 2019 First Impressions finalist.
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.