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The Gray Chamber

(True Colors #4)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?

On Blackwell Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.

With her late father’s fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2020 by Barbour Books
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Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
"Mothers never fail to present their daughters as a marriageable option...[Edyth Foster was] of the few women who had her future secured without needing to put on a facade to secure a husband's pocketbook." The year was 1887, the place was New York City.

Edyth, a twenty-four year old "free spirit", answered to the beat of her own drum. She enjoyed riding her velocipede "in lieu of a respectable carriage". She preferred uncorseted, split skirts to fashionable gowns. "Books were too quiet a p
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A chilling fictional account based on true happenings at the Blackwell Lunatic Asylum in NYC back in the late 1800's. Women were forcibly committed for any reason, and not expected to ever leave.

Edyth Foster, a woman of 24, was under the guardianship of her uncle after her parents died in an accident. She was a likable, unconventional young woman who rode her bicycle around town, wore different clothing, and took fencing lessons from Raoul Banebridge, whom she fell in love with.

Her uncle, wishin
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Barbour Publishing, Inc., via Netgalley for an honest review.

Etiquette, propriety, courting, and men who don’t think much of women.

It’s like a Jane Austen novel, but with an asylum!


The Gray Chamber is set in the later part of the 1800’s in high society, following a young woman named Edyth Foster as she nears her twenty-fifth birthday. Though Edyth has grown up privileged and accustomed to playing the role of a lady, she is a quirky woman wh
Deanne Patterson
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Deanne by:

She lifted her lips to him. His brows shot up and he grinned, that tantalizing dimple appearing in his cheek. " What's this ? I suppose you're asking for a kiss ?"
" That would be most agreeable ,sir. "

Quote from The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock.

I have been really enjoying this True Colors series Barbour has put out. It's a fictional crime series based on true historical crimes.
The majority of the story takes place on Blackwell Island, New York in an asylum built to prevent it's patients from
As she did in her previous novel for the True Colors series, in The Gray Chamber Hitchcock has given readers a glimpse into a morbidly fascinating bit of criminal history. Women are held to an entirely different set of standards, and not only did this often disenfranchise them, it often put them in danger, as it does for main character Edyth Foster.

Edyth is forward-thinking; she fences when this is considered a man's sport; she pays no heed to what society dictates. This plays well into the sche
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

The Gray Chamber
By: Grace Hitchcock

*REVIEW* 🌟🌟🌟🌟
The Gray Chamber is a compelling tale of the atrocities visited upon women committed to Blackwell's Asylum during the 1880s. This institution, located on the East River near Manhattan and Queens, was the place where Nelly Bly spent ten days undercover in order to expose the abhorrent conditions. This story occurs during this time whe
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was hooked by the time I was 25% through this book. It's not your typical chick lit, & it's based on actual historical events. The protagonist is a strong, strong-willed, unconventional young woman who used her position to live a life of intention instead of one of leisure, which cost her her freedom & very nearly her life. ...more
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
I cannot get enough of this series! Every single story is full of captivating characters, eerie situations (yes they creep me out a little!), suspense, and amazement. The Gray Chamber is no exception to that. Hitchcock had my attention from the very first line, and didn’t lose it until the end.

Edyth was such an interesting character. I loved her attitude about things. I mean, in the very beginning scene she is riding her velocipede (which I did look up by the way because I wanted to see a pictur
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
For such a dower subject, I quite enjoyed the story of Edyth and Bane - her struggle to prove she was not insane and his love for her to get her out. I had heard of women being sent to asylums just because their husband's/families didn't know what to do with them, or they didn't want them anymore, or they just wanted their money, it was really quite easy for them to do in those days. As is the case with Edyth, and her greedy aunt and uncle. Sent away because she had money, Edyth kept her wits an ...more
Spoilers may follow....

Honestly, this one was a real struggle to get through. The author did an excellent job studying the conditions in the madhouse and expressing that (~30% of the book) and did some good work on fencing lingo. Beyond that, though, the research seems to have been left behind for modern tropes and misconceptions. Velocipede/bike: first, this isn’t interchangeable and these are two different contraptions, not synonyms. Second, it wasn’t all that scandalous for a lady to use one.
I received this from for a review.

"Finding a loophole her father's will, Edyth's uncle whisks her off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. Do any of Edyth’s friends care that she disappeared? At the asylum she meets another inmate who confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World."

Good, clean story with a nice ending. Great descriptions of life and conditions Edyth had to endure.

3 stars
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you have not read any of the True Colors series, a series based on true American crimes, I highly recommend that you do. Each book can be read as a standalone and is written by different authors. Not only have I enjoyed reading books by some of my favorite authors, I have met a few more through reading the books in this series. I first read Grace Hitchcock's writings in this series.

Ms. Hitchcock's lyrical prose paints a picture of the horrors of the women's asylum on Blackwell Island. While t
Jen. (JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews)
Sometimes it's difficult to write that Five Star Review, because honestly, all I want to do is tell everyone they need to go out and buy this book.

So, that's what I'm doing. Hey, Everyone?!? Go out and buy this book!

The Gray Chamber is a gripping page-turner! This book has it all - romance, intrigue, suspense, charming lead characters and superbly written bad guys!

I couldn't put it down!

This is the first story I've read by Grace Hitchcock. It definitely will not be my last!

The Gray Chamber i
When I saw this series about stories based on real life historic crimes, it definitely peaked my interest. The past 2 books was however just okay for me, but this book definitely exceeded my experience again.

Edyth was such a vibrant lively character who was misunderstood because she did not fit the box society wanted to fit her into. Bane came across as a bit of a self-focused and shallow man who only focused on a women's external beauty, but he did win me over in his never ending search for Edy
Chautona Havig
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Possibly the best of all of the True Crime Series (it's a daily toss-up on that), The Gray Chamber offers a realistic look into the seedy side of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century mental institutions and how corrupt they were. Seeing the story of Nellie Bly, reporter, through the eyes of a semi-fictional character is done with honesty, brilliance, and compassion.
I sat on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I'd purchased an ebook copy of the book to read for my podcast, but afte
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes skyward, for there you have been , and there you will always long to return." Leonardo da Vinci

Would she ever be free to walk the earth again with her eyes turned skyward, or had her world turned forever gray? Edyth Foster was terrified that color had been forever removed, that love had become forever denied, and that justice had been drowned in the depths of the sea. How had it come to this?

Exceptionally eccen
Hallie Szott
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it

Edyth Foster does not favor traditional female pursuits and instead, chooses to fence, cycle, and get into all sorts of unintended mischief. When greed for her fortune overcomes her uncle, her eccentricities seem to support his claim of madness, and she ends up in Blackwell Island’s lunatic asylum. When everything she does reinforces her “diagnosis,” how can she ever hope to get out?

Historical stories set in an asylum are maddening, to say the least. Edyth has little reason to hope from with
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
There is a lot to like about The Gray Chamber. There's the admirable hero and heroine, a heroine that is ahead of her time in participating in fencing and a novel based upon actual events.

After reading and very much enjoying The White City, my expectations for The Gray Chamber were rather high. The bits of humor that I loved in The White City were very rare in The Gray Chamber. The fictional story line wasn't as engaging for me. The change in Bane's opinion of Edyth from friendship to seeing her
Ashley Johnson
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am really enjoying the True Colors series from Barbour Publishing!  The Gray Chamber did not disappoint! First of all this cover is really haunting and really reflects the atmosphere that is created in the book.  The story was intriguing and the characters were smart, capable, and easy to like.   This novel really showcased some of the unfair and brutal treatments that some patients endured on Blackwell Island.  It was chilling.  As soon as Edyth entered the asylum I felt tense and anxious.  T ...more
Diane Estrella
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A little scary... but, in the best way possible.

This was a difficult book to read. The point of the "True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime" series is to show real events in history that many people are not aware of or choose to ignore. The author used a lot of restraint in what she shared, and I'm sure in how much more she didn't. The story had plenty of suspense and could have turned to full-blown horror with the material it covered. The conditions described were beyond deplorable a
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock is a powerful Christian historical tale set in 1887. It surrounds the asylum where women could be sent to for no good reason, forgotten and ill-treated. It is horrifying and barbaric. The novel has its roots in fact, around which, Grace Hitchcock has woven her tale.
Money and status are terrible masters, corrupting lives whose hearts lie in riches. There is nothing wrong with money and status if our hearts are aligned with God but when they are the foundations
Linda Klager
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow - what a book! The cover was very mysterious and held a dark secret.

The year is 1887 in New York City. Edyth Foster is a kind and giving young lady of 25. She is eccentric and years ahead of many women in this era. She loves to fence, wear outlandish outfits and ride her velocipede. She has a very good friend with the nickname of Bane - he is her fencing instructor.

Many people don't understand Edyth. Her uncle decides to have her committed so that he can spend her inheritance. What a mean a
Karen R
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another thrilling story in the True Crimes series! A romantic suspense that swept me up in the reading and held my rapt attention throughout. I couldn't read it fast enough!

"Fear not, for the Lord will be with you."
I found myself quickly attached to the main characters, and held my breath when it seemed all hope was lost. A few Bible verses and prayers of the characters, especially when in peril, kept the story from becoming too dark, and brought inspiration to the tale. I shudder to think th
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one was a hard read. Going into it I knew that it could be a tough one. It was a very interesting story idea. Don’t let the darkness of the circumstances in this book drown out the hope and love that is also in this book. I had heard of Nellie Bly before this, so it was interesting to read more about her. I just want to caution readers that the violence in this book may be a trigger to some. Other than that, it was a pretty interesting book.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher
Amanda Tero
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read. On one side, it was a sweet romance between Edyth and Bane. On the other side, it was a nefarious scheme to get Edyth committed to an insane asylum with all of its dark secrets.

I didn’t find it as suspenseful as some of the reads I’ve had recently. It had dark threads, due to the hidden secrets and total freedom of those in authority of a 19th century asylum. I personally found this fascinating and definitely believe its truth—it is heartbreaking that it’s true.

The Ch
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story is full of page-turning suspense. I fairly inhaled this story as I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want to look away! There were several twists and turns I wasn’t expecting and that really made for an exciting story.

Right from the beginning, I was pulled into the story and felt like I was right there walking through the events hand-in-hand with Edyth. I was part of the story, every high and low. I often found myself holding my breath and trying to not skip lines to see what would unfo
Maureen Timerman
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This was a great read, but it did give me nightmares, and mainly because it is based on fact. This horrible place really existed, and was used to actually destroy people, sick and sad.
There are smiles to be found when we follow our daring Ms. Edyth as she goes about NY City, doing what we take for granted, but back in the late 1880’s was considered unladylike.
Then we have her Uncle, yes, he is her guardian, at least for a few more weeks, she will then be 25, and able to assume control over her
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
They say she's crazy...but is she really...?

I've seriously been getting into the True Colors series and The Gray Chamber was no exception. Grace Hitchcock's second offering in the series was exciting, romantic, and creepy. Really, did you think you could have a book partially set in the women's lunatic asylum on Blackwell Island and not have some creep factor going on?

One of the most shocking things about the 1800s is just how little it took for a woman to be committed to a mental asylum. No jok
Kelly Bridgewater
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock is a delightful glance into the world of insane asylums during the 1900's. I have always known that asylums were some pretty creepy places during the 1900's, but Hitchcock does a fabulous job at showing the horrors that occurred to normal woman who were sent there by the men who claimed to love them. No wonder some of the women actually went crazy. Horrible things and abuse happened to them while they were imprisoned in these places. I couldn't imagine the hor ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 stars: 5/5 star rating
What a powerful and moving novel! While fictional, the story is based upon true facts. Women truly were mistreated and wrongfully imprisoned in mental asylums in the 1880's. I find it fascinating and equally horrifying, and knew of the terrible plight of the mentally ill in our history's past from my studies in psychology at university. I am very thankful that mental institutions now treat patients with dignity and kindness, as well as proving helpful to those who truly
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Grace Hitchcock is the author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in Baton Rouge with her husband, Dakota, son and daughter. Connect with her online at

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