Crimson Hall is the story of the Barrett family, who live in rural North Carolina in 1850, as told from the
point of view of an aging servant, Marabelle Parker.
Thaddeus Barrett is a compassionate father who loves his children dearly. He is also independently wealthy, grows
hemp on his plantation, and spends time in his laboratory with dreams of inventing medicinal uses for his crops.
Thaddeus’ fourth wife, Barbara, is pregnant. She feels the presence of the ghosts of his previous wives and is
certain she shares the curse that, when she delivers her child, she will die.
Thaddeus’ sixteen year-old daughter, Felicity, is a bit self-centered and seeks to convince her father that she
needs a personal maid and the most beautiful coming out party ever. Then she meets Mr. Peter Gilchrist, the man of
her dreams, at a close friend’s coming out party. Though it’s clear that no one else in the family cares for the
young man, Felicity is determined to become his wife.
Thaddeus’ thirteen year-old twins, Grace and Amelia, try - and succeed - in irritating their older sister.
They’re as charming as they are mischievous. Amelia became deaf and dumb, the result of the same fever that took
her mother’s life, the second and most beloved of Thaddeus’ wives. Though Amelia can’t speak, she communicates
with Grace via mental thoughts, which leads to many humorous moments.
Then Thaddeus hires an assistant, Mr. Eli Somerset, who takes an inordinate interest in Thaddeus’ medicinal
experiments with hemp. Soon the children’s Aunt Claire arrives, the twin sister of Thaddeus’ second wife. Kind and
soft-spoken, she soon sparks Barbara’s jealousy.
Slowly, the idyllic world of Crimson Hall changes, bringing with it tragedy and a thoroughly unforgettable ending.
Ms. Jane Shoup has written a marvelous, sensitive story of a family full of hidden secrets, open love,
compassion and fear, joy and heartache. Like the slow, easy grace of the Old South, Crimson Hall weaves its
charm into your heart.