Dec. 6, 2016

Peach Blossom Rancher, #2 Peaches and Dreams, by Ada Brownell

***** 5 stars

Light Historical w/Incredibly Candid View of Asylums...

Ada Brownell has a talent for taking what appears to be a light historical and packing a punch into it. In Peach Blossom Rancher, the second in her Peaches and Dreams series, we find young John Parks returning to his childhood home to rebuild what his abusive uncle destroyed.

We see romantic triangles, economic difficulties, and a struggle to disprove a murder rap. What I loved best, though, is a secondary thread that became the major thrust of the book for me.

Brownell takes us inside an insane asylum in the late 1800's-early 1900's. I could feel my scalp crawling with those of the asylum visitors. I could see, smell, and hear the deplorable conditions there that epileptics, Down syndrome, alcoholics, and even domestic quarrelers were subjected to. This is the meat of the story to me, the part the will leave its lasting impression on my heart. It causes me to urge others to read this book, to get an inside look at early insane asylums that were mismanaged. You will wonder how you would have acted in this situation. On what side of the fence would you have been found?

An enjoyable story with a haunting message. I received a complimentary copy from the author through Book Fun. I have voluntarily chosen to leave a review, and all opinions are solely my own.