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Alice Allan

Available from Amazon.com and other retail outlets

"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 

what prompted me to write a historical novel about this aspect of Addie L. Ballou's life:


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.

~~In 1863, twenty-five-year-old Addie Ballou risks losing the personal freedom and self confidence she has only begun to taste when illness forces her to leave her tenure as matron for the Union Army and return to rural Wisconsin. The young mother is quickly reminded her rights, opinions, and needs are secondary to that of her husband’s.