Review of The Lost Women of Azalea Court by Ellen Meeropol

The Lost Women of Azalea Court by Ellen Meeropol

The Lost Women of Azalea Court by Ellen MeeropolBy Patricia Lee Lewis

The Northampton State Hospital floats in memory and in fact above a small city of people—alive and dead—who, over a span of one hundred years, worked or were incarcerated within its walls. It is a place of nightmare and of dreams, and it is where the characters of The Lost Women of Azalea Court dwell.

When 88-year-old Iris Blum goes missing from her bungalow in Azalea Court on the grounds of the old state hospital, the secrets within her household, and mysteries in the lives of her neighbors, are thrown into chaotic relief and odd connection. What has been held in the dark for so long now rises to threaten the safety and sanity of the women, their families, and of an outsider who has no home at all.

Elli Meeropol, with diligent research and compassionate imagination, has combined in the present the ghosts of past terrors with characters so alive you can hear the fearful beating of their hearts. In their tangled stories, through fate and good will, those most at risk of terrible deeds being discovered and those whose lives have been broken by those deeds, are found by one another and in the catacombs of horror are redeemed.

I urge you to buy this book. You will be enthralled. Bring it to your book club, your writing group, your library. Make sure to attend one of Elli’s readings, here:

  • September 14, 2022, 6:30 pm, BOOK LAUNCH! Forbes Library & Broadside Books, in conversation with Library Director Lisa Downing
  • September 15, 2022, 6:45 pm, A Writer’s Night with Rick Paar, Longmeadow Adult Center
  • September 20 & 21, 10 am, Northampton State Hospital in History and Fiction: a walking and reading tour. To benefit Historic Northampton
  • September 22, 2022, 7 pm, Fireside Chat interview (virtual), Adventures by the Book
  • September 29, 2022, 7 pm, Reading and Conversation with Caroline Heller, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley

For details, registration links, and additional events:

The book can be preordered here: