Kindle Price: $3.99

Save $6.00 (60%)

Read this title for free. Learn more

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

OR
Read for Free
with Kindle Unlimited

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

Get the Free Kindle App

Enter email or phone number to get a link

Processing your request...

A White Room - Historical Women's Fiction Kindle Edition

65 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$3.99

Length: 409 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Matchbook Price: $0.00 What's this?
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.

The One I Was
The One I Was by Eliza Graham
A beautiful and haunting tale of friendship, redemption and forgiveness across generations. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A novel of grit, independence, and determination ... An intelligent story, well told."
Renée Thompson, author of The Plume Hunter and The Bridge at Valentine

"The best historical fiction makes you forget it's fiction and forget it's historical. Reminiscent of The Yellow Wallpaper ... the thoughtful, intricate story Carroll relates is absolutely mesmerizing."
Eileen Walsh, Ph.D. U.S. Women's History, University of San Diego

Amazon US Review
I totally loved this book. It's been described as being similar to Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper, ... Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, and Emily Bronte'sWuthering Heights. Though I concur that all that is true, I go further by being reminded of why the gothic writing work and home remind me of Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables ... and some of the works of V.C. Andrews, such as Flowers in the Attic. She gives us a gothic feel reminiscent of Daphne de Maurier's works.
 
Amazon US Review
Carroll does a superb job of pulling the reader in from the start. We feel as if we are Emma, her thoughts and actions and worries so pervasive to our own minds. Just as the house seeps in to our bones and we feel it closing around us as Emma does, as we feel the creepiness making the hair on our arms raise, just as we ourselves might go mad out of anger for Emma's life, a redeeming break happens. The light enters in and Emma shines. - Erin Al-Mehairi
 
Amazon US Review
I love books that surprise me. Stephanie Carroll has written an interesting historical novel with a flavor of mystery and a touch of the gothic.
 

From the Author

Contact Author Stephanie Carroll!
To read behind the scenes of "A White Room," & get future discounts & freebees, in edition to learning how to become a test reader for future books, sign up for the VIP Reader newsletter @ stephaniecarroll.net. 

If you enjoy Gothic Victorian fiction, the history of Victorian women, turn of the century nursing history, or any of the topics in this novel, please start a conversation or just say hi at stephaniecarroll.net, or @CarrollBooks on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or Pinterest. 

As a Veteran Navy Wife, I also founded and write at the Unhinged & Empowered Navy Wives & Navy Girlfriends blog at unhingednavywives.blogspot.com.
 
I look forward to meeting you!

If you enjoy this Victorian Gothic Novel, please show your support by posting a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Amazon and Goodreads reviews play a large role in a new release and a new author's success and I would be so grateful. 

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" an Inspiration for A White Room - from an Author Interview with Stephanie Carroll courtesy of  The Book Wheel: thebookwheelblog.com

"The Yellow Wallpaper" is about a woman diagnosed with hysteria and confined to her bed as a form of treatment. Her doctor husband won't allow her to do anything but rest because it was believed stimulation would worsen her condition. The story is written as if it were a journal she is sneaking as her writing was discouraged too. She keeps talking about how the only thing she can do all day is stare at this horrendous wallpaper in her room. She becomes obsessed with it, and starts seeing it move, starts seeing a woman trapped behind it.
 
She goes mad, and in the last scene, she is "creeping" around the room peeling the yellow paper from the walls and laughing as everyone who had acted as her jail-keepers watches in horror. She has freed the woman behind the paper and in doing so becomes her, a wild thing freed from her bounds. Her husband faints. I interpreted this as her finding freedom through madness as she no longer cares what her husband says or what society expects.
 
The first thing in A White Room that people recognize as reminiscent of "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the situation of a husband taking his wife to an isolated and disturbing country home and forcing her to rest as a form of treatment for hysteria. I re-envisioned the element of something inanimate coming to life with the house and furniture. I chose those elements instead of the wallpaper because I didn't want to rewrite "The Yellow Wallpaper." I wanted A White Room to stand on its own. Further, the house represents the white room in my metaphor. I wanted that white room and that white house to be the element that drove my character insane rather than the yellow wallpaper.
 
I incorporated the furniture after I discovered Victorian Art Nouveau. This style of furniture and decor had a lot of scrolling and winding designs that reminded me of the descriptions of the wallpaper in Gilman's story. Plus, the designers incorporated either a life form or a suggestion of movement into every piece, so the objects practically look as though they are coming to life already. The combination of house and furniture was perfect as it embodies domesticity, which is the role and situation Emeline has been forced into.  

There are a variety of other more subtle elements that I took from the story, as well. The narrative is told from a limited and unreliable first-person perspective, so certain characters, like the husband, were strangers to the reader, and certain events may have occurred differently than how we are told. I used this point of view in A White Room and made Emeline's husband a stranger to the reader, at least until the very end.
 
The language I used in the novel is also highly inspired by "The Yellow Wallpaper." When I reread the short story and realized I wanted to use it as my inspiration, I studied the language, assuming late 19th century vernacular would be very different from our own, but I was surprised at how modern it read. People could read this story today and think it is a contemporary piece of short fiction. It is so easy to read that I chose that route as opposed to a more flowery Victorian verbiage.
 
There is also a very distinctive mood created in "The Yellow Wallpaper." It's a sense of isolation, despair, unease, and mystery characteristic of a haunted house story, but with an uncertainty of whether or not the things the main character sees are ghosts or her own hallucinations. This was one of the most complicated things to recreate. It was difficult to incite an uncertainty in the reader without causing confusion. The fact that it is not clear whether or not the house is haunted or if Emeline is seeing things is a reflection of that uncertainty in "The Yellow Wallpaper." However, Gilman later explained that her story wasn't meant to be a ghost story, and I can say the same thing about A White Room.
 
"The Yellow Wallpaper" ends with the wallpaper having driven the heroine insane, but in her madness she has discovered a sense of freedom. I still wanted my character to find freedom through insanity, but I didn't want that to be the entire story. Instead, I made it so that Emeline is only able to pursue her passion after she goes insane because only then has she stopped caring what her husband says, what her family wants, and what society expects.
 
Where I really strayed from "The Yellow Wallpaper" is in the second half of the novel. My first inclination was to have Emeline leave her husband whose treatment felt so unkind, but I wanted to do something unexpected with John because when you really look at his character in "The Yellow Wallpaper," it's not so clear as to whether he is in fact a monster or if he is simply ignorant and insistent because of his concern for his wife. I decided I could use the unreliable narrator to go in a direction with John that was unexpected.
 
Taking the story into the underground world of unlicensed nursing and the professionalization of medicine was the biggest split from "The Yellow Wallpaper." I went in that direction because I wanted Emeline to have the desire to seek out a profession. I wanted her to have a dream to go after once she was free to do as she pleased. I was attracted to the nursing profession because of the history of how doctors and authorities went after midwives and unlicensed nurses in a way comparable to the witch trials.
 
I wanted to create an interesting juxtaposition. The witch trials were a movement of mass hysteria and in response to a belief that women were naturally flawed with a weakness for evil. This is comparable to why hysteria exploded in the late 19th century. It also dealt with the belief that women were flawed, only instead of evil, it was the belief that they were vulnerable to emotional and mental instability.
 
Also going with a medical theme allowed me to stick with Gilman's portrayal of the professional doctor as the enemy, but I took it in a different direction playing on other historical trends in addition to that which impacted hysteria. Further, instead of making her husband a doctor, I turned him into a lawyer for the doctors.

Product Details

  • File Size: 914 KB
  • Print Length: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Unhinged Books (February 3, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 3, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CY6GKU2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,551 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Sign up at stephaniecarroll.net to become a VIP Reader! Be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways, and the stories behind the story!

As a reporter and community editor, Stephanie Carroll earned first place awards from the National Newspaper Association and from the Nevada Press Association. Stephanie holds degrees in history and social science.

Her dark and magical writing is inspired by the classic authors Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden), and Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights).

In addition to writing historical fiction, Stephanie founded Unhinged & Empowered, a blog for Navy Wives and Navy Girlfriends and she performs fire dancing as Rayvn. She lives in California with her husband and chihuahuas. Her websites are www.stephaniecarroll.net and www.unhingedandempowered.com.

WHAT REVIEWERS ARE ASKING STEPHANIE CARROLL

THE BOOK WHEEL
How did you incorporate "The Yellow Wallpaper" into your novel?

"I re-envisioned the element of something inanimate coming to life with the house and furniture. I chose those elements instead of the wallpaper because I didn't want to rewrite "The Yellow Wallpaper." I wanted A White Room to stand on its own. Further, the house represents the white room in my metaphor. I wanted that white room and that white house to be the element that drove my character insane rather than the yellow wallpaper."

You write very eloquently about small-town nursing when it wasn't always acceptable. Where did you get your material for that?

I read a lot of notes and journals from historical nurses. Most of the ailments and illnesses Emeline deals with in the book are inspired by historical accounts of small town nursing, particularly the scene with the patient having bed sores. That entire character and subplot was based off of a 19th century journal entry. I tried very hard to stay realistic and true to the times. The fact that some nurses went without corsets; the descriptions of historical tools nurses carried; and the methods and risks of certain underground procedures were all based on historical nursing.

THE MILITARY SPOUSE BOOK REVIEW
Has being a military spouse informed what you read and write?

"No and yes. There are a lot of great books out there that are actually about military spouses, but I haven't read many. I've mostly focused on historical fiction, because I write historical fiction, but I also read fiction that intrigues me, and that can change at any time. For a while there, I never thought I'd read Young Adult (YA), and then I checked out Twilight and The Host and it was all over.
My Navy wife experiences impact what I write but not in a direct way. The emotions I experienced as a Navy wife inspired A White Room and fuel much of my fiction, not to mention my blogging. Because of this, a lot of Navy wives and Navy girlfriends relate to Emeline Dorr, the main character in A White Room, even though she is not a Navy Wife."

OH, FOR THE HOOK OF A BOOK
I know you love the Gothic feel of the Victorian Era. How did you incorporate this into your novel?

"The Secret Garden had a big influence on me as a child and I tapped into some of that Gothic tradition with the fact that Emeline is in mourning, as was Mary Lennox. Victorian etiquette requires her to wear black for up to a year or more. Plus, she is forced to move away from her family to a frightening place with a man she doesn't know. Then there's a literal darkness from the house's Gothic architecture."

I loved the description of the house your character moves to in your novel. How did you create that image in your mind?

The house in the book is based on The Doyle-Mounce House in Hannibal, Missouri. I tried to do my best to describe the exterior of the house in the book, but the interior is all my own creation. I couldn't find any information or photos of the interior of the house. I did do my best to make the interior designed to the times although also an oddity. BTW - that's a pretty difficult thing to do - to make a house historically accurate but at the same time a house that would be considered odd in comparison to other houses at the time. It was a lot of fun though.

BOOKFARI
Is there a particular message or theme you want readers to take away from A White Room?

"I think the primary message is that you can make your life your own and what you want it to be if you are willing to take risks. I also wanted to show a variety of women's experiences at the time. I also wanted the reader to experience how people end up making choices that may seem immoral or wrong from an outsider's perspective, which is usually how people view history. That, and embrace the crazy!"

MICHELLE'S ROMANTIC TANGLE
Where did you find out about that furniture?

"I was researching Victorian furniture to make sure I would describe it properly and discovered these pieces that were really creepy and interesting. They were all from the Art Nouveau style.  This type of furniture is where we get claw-footed tubs and children's faces carved into wood. The pieces I was drawn to all seemed to have human or animal life forms incorporated into the design, or the piece would have lifelike features. If it didn't, it would have some type of decoration that suggested movement like winding and curling designs or an effect of melting or dripping. It's all really weird, dark, and awesome!"

UNABRIDGED CHICK
When you're not writing, what do you like to do?

Believe it or not, I'm a fire dancer. I perform fire fans and fire poi as Ravyn with the group Twisted Embers. You can see photos on Facebook.com/carrollbooks or video on Youtube.com/stephaniecarroll. When I'm not dancing, I'm spending time with my husband. We love a bizarre mixture of wine tasting, playing with our dogs, and video games. And I can't forget reading. Reading, reading, reading.

Was A White Room the original title of your book?

It was, and I was insistent upon it even though it has its pitfalls. For example, it's a pretty general word combination so a million other search items pop up when you type it into Google. Plus a lot of people miss the "A" and call it The White Room, which is unfortunate because there is a different book called "The White Room."

HAZEL THE WITCH
Some people have told you, A White Room reads too modern. What is your response to that?

"I modeled the language off of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper". . . If you read the short story, you will see it reads very modern, not as ornately Victorian as you'd. It's nothing like Wuthering Heights or Dickens, which are from much earlier in the nineteenth century. That simple and readable language of the later nineteenth century was what I wanted to use for A White Room."

THE BOOKISH DAME
Who first told you that you could write well, and how did it affect you?

"I was told when I was younger, but the memory that has really stuck with me was with my first history instructor in college. It was the first class I took after I had realized I wanted to study history. I wrote a paper on a topic that was very interesting to me, and when my instructor returned the papers, she stopped in front of my desk, clutched the paper to her chest and said, "This is the best paper I have ever read." That instructor became my mentor and one of her assignments laid the first seeds for A White Room."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Erin Al-Mehairi on June 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
Emma is terrified of her house. It moves, creaks, and seems alive. Is the terror truly there or is it in her own head? Is her isolation driving her mad or is her madness making her isolated?

The White Room by Stephanie Carroll is a historical novel showcasing the plight of women in the early 20th Century, where desperation for women with dreams and desires outside of working in the home could blur the lines between sanity and insanity. Where men ruled the towns, the families, and the plight of every woman. Where high society women betrayed, humiliated, and bullied other women for wanting more than to launder, cook, and clean.

Emeline (Emma) Evans' beloved father, who encouraged her dreams of helping people through nursing and had the funds to send her for an education, dies leaving her mother, her siblings, and her in sudden poverty. Not knowing how else to help her family, she pleads to a family once helped by her father to let her marry their son. Once they agree, she is thrown into an undesirable situation by the new husband, John Dorr, who moves her far away from any family to start a new isolated life in a gothic home that reeks of sorrow and desires unmet.

Coupled with the fact that the only human contact, besides their a few-days-a-week maid who helped her with the incessant chores, were the high society women in the church who ran committees for profit or invited her low rung young husband lawyer to dine at their homes where she inevitably made mistakes.

Society in the early 1900s didn't approve of women working outside of the home...their duty was to lug and hand wash dishes, launder clothing by hand, starch, iron, cook, scrub floors on hands and knees, be a dutiful wife and have sons...even if they had an education.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Allison on August 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Note: I requested this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
As a general rule, I stay away from books that are considered "scary" because I have a very active imagination. It's been over ten years since I read Helter Skelter and I still have to leave the lights on at night when I think about the creepy crawling. So I'm a bit surprised to find that I enjoyed A White Room so much because it had a similar effect.

The book is essentially two stories about the same protagonist, Emeline. After the untimely death of her father, Emeline gives up her dreams of becoming a nurse and marries a family friend named John Dorr because it's the practical thing to do. Upon their marriage, they move from the big city of St. Louis to Labellum, Missouri: population tiny. Living in a steal of a house that's dark, dreary, and downright depressing, Emeline's isolation begins to take a psychological toll on her. Luckily (or unluckily), the Dorr's live in a town with only one doctor and there is a huge need for basic healthcare. Although it is illegal, Emeline begins to emerge from isolation and heal herself by tending to those in need.

Fans of The Yellow Wallpaper will love this debut from Stephanie Carroll because it's about a woman feeling her house is alive and that other people are living in it. I, for one, couldn't put the book down but was also reading with the covers up to my chin and all of the lights on. It's not because the book is scary but because I could absolutely understand why Emeline was losing it. I could have sworn that my own walls were watching me and I had horrible flashbacks from the movie "House on Haunted Hill" when the girl looks through the camera lens to see the ghosts staring back at her.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Lea on July 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
The story is told in first person by the main character, Emaline. When her father dies her family is left destitute and Emaline takes it upon herself to save her family by marrying John Dorr. An up and coming young lawyer.
She and her new husband move far from her family, to an isolated house that she detests. She swears she sees the furniture moving and feels that the house plotting against her.
She spends the days toiling in the house why John goes off to work. Even when he is home, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her. And as hard as she tries she can't fit in with the local hoity toity society women.
One night she helps her house maid with a medical emergency. From then on she dedicates herself to the medical care of people who can't afford the services of licensed doctors. The only problem is that, her husband works for a law firm that dedicates itself to hunting down and convicting un-licenced practitioners.
I liked how this story was told in first person. As I really felt like I was reading someone's journal and that gave it a more personal feel.
It really gives a look inside the lives of early 20th century women. Both uppper and lower classes. The way they interacted with one another. How women were treated as mad if they dared to do anything other than what society expected of them. They wern't treated this way just by men, but by other women as well.
I have to admit I was kind of iffy about reading a novel from a new author. Also I usually don't read these kinds of books. My tastes usually run to Dean Koontz or Anne Rice. But I had to check it out after reading about the book and author in my local paper
All in all, I think it is a very fine debut novel for Stephnie Carroll and would recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?