"Allan's dedication to highlighting the life of an early proponent of women's rights is admirable. Spiritualist researchers will be grateful for Allan's thoroughly researched work (inspired, she says, by Addie's original diaries). Newcomers to the subject matter may also find Addie's journey interesting, if not inspirational." -- Kirkus Reviews
For nearly fifteen years, I determinedly researched Addie Ballou’s life and involvement in the Spiritualism movement that flourished in the second half of the nineteenth century. Doing so enriched not only my life, but other lives as well, in ways none of us could have foreseen.
In particular, I was contacted by other descendants of Albert and Addie Ballou and offered pieces of history, including Addie’s original diary from the year 1873. It was filled with names, observations, and beautifully written descriptions of her Spiritualist activities and family life. I spent the next two years deciphering her handwriting and determining which entries were meaningful and which ones were not.
As I dug deeper into the Spiritualism movement and its connection to social reform in America, I realized the personal stories of women had been left untold and at a minimum misunderstood. Due to their inability to express what happened to them, and the lack of social acceptance if they had, unspeakable secrets went with them to their graves.
That is, unless, a woman recorded just enough of those remembrances in a diary that somehow, miraculously, surfaced nearly 140 years later. Mrs. Ballou, as a historical novel, is the result.