Number 1 Flint Hill by Melissa Brown
A historical narrative based in Colonial Victoria at the turn of the century. Step into a 509 page journey and absorb some of our rich heritage within – mjb
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Overview of Number 1 Flint Hill by Melissa Brown
1898, Ararat, Victoria
Doctor Charles Lawler believes he has witnessed the worst of humanity in his job treating patients on the Ballarat Goldfields – until he steps through the doors of the Ararat Lunatic Asylum.
His new position as the asylum’s medical superintendent comes with introductions to high society … and also to Miss Celia Loddon. Captivated by Celia’s beauty and innocence, Charles decides to make her his wife.
Celia is similarly smitten, but as she ventures behind the asylum walls – all in the name of assisting Charles with his work – she discovers that the lives of the inmates are far worse than she could have imagined.
But Celia also discovers that she is brave … and certainly not as innocent as Charles believes. When an unprecedented act of violence triggers a series of mysterious and horrific events, Celia risks her marriage and happiness to fight for justice.
With Colonial Victoria stripped bare, lovers become strangers.
Are Charles and Celia now allies or enemies? Can they forgive one another their many trespasses?
Or will Celia’s quest to reveal the truth entrap her forever on the wrong side of the asylum walls?
Media – Number 1 Flint Hill by Melissa Brown
New historical novel explores Ararat Lunatic Asylum in 1898
Book an author talk for Number 1 Flint Hill by Melissa Brown
I found myself at the steps of Aradale, formerly known as Ararat Lunatic Asylum one balmy evening, almost eight years ago. This was a place that begged me to tell its story. Having lived with my young son and his epilepsy diagnosis, this triggered a want to know so much more about our colonial history with mental health. My research revealed so many rabbit warrens, amid the constant tug of war between the medical establishment, governance and one recurring factor, the part women played in the community, attempting to advocate for those that could not.
In my author talk I discuss women, their place in society and the ease with which this story evolved. I also uncover the story within my own difficulty as a mother, dealing with my son’s diagnosis and how our lives would have unfurled, had we have existed during this time, one hundred plus years ago. Whilst fictional, regional Victoria is displayed prominently in every facet of the story that found me as its vessel.
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