Voices in the Sanitorium

Amy Lynn

HISTORICAL: Daideo, Katherine’s father, dies of an unexpected heart attack. Katherine’s husband, Collin, travels for work, so she feels alone and isolated. After her dad passed, she wanted a change. Collin found a job with less travel, so they moved their four children to Pennsylvania from Manhattan before their eldest daughter, Aislyn’s, senior year of high school. Aislyn’s anger at the move, losing close friends, and feeling betrayed get directed towards her mom. Aislyn gets a job at a local cafe and finds a diary in an antique shop belonging to a sanitorium patient, Bridget, and Katherine hears a man’s voice, terrifying her as she walks her dog near the property. What’s going on at the abandoned sanitorium?

Amy Lynn Walsh expertly combines the history of an abandoned, deteriorating sanitorium in Scranton, PA, with a relatable fictional family. Vivid descriptions of the West Mountain area provide the perfect setting for this mystery. The sanitorium’s history dates to when tuberculosis patients had little hope. The exploration of the sanitorium itself uncovers a secret garden of wild Lily of the Valley, the description so detailed the scent is almost emitted to the reader. The three-dimensional characters add texture to the mystery with twists and turns. Snippets from the diary, shared by Aislyn on her blog, allow for comments by her New York friends. Her Intercontinental Chronicler A-1 provides a window into Aislyn’s defiant mindset. In many ways, she feels a kinship with Bridget as a patient. Historical fiction fans will appreciate the detailed research and the journey to an unexpected conclusion.  

Simone Dober