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It's 1936 when orphaned thirteen-year-old Evalina Toussaint is admitted to Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, a mental institution known for its innovative treatments for nervous disorders and addictions. Taken under the wing of the hospital's most notable patient, Zelda Fitzgerald, Evalina witnesses the cascading events leading up to the tragic fire of 1948 that killed nine women in a locked ward, Zelda among them.
Author Lee Smith has created, through her artful blending of fiction and fact, a mesmerizing novel about a world apart--a time and a place where creativity and passion, theory and medicine, tragedy and transformation, are luminously intertwined.
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