Last on A Match: The Final Chapter
Diana K. Perkins
Shetucket Hollow Press (2018)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views
In 1888 twins Felicity Louise White and Millicent Submit White were as different as night and day.
Even within all the six siblings, one could tell the other children were favored, and Millie appeared
to be the “Cinderella” of the family. Felicity, from birth was quite sickly and wasn’t able to help
complete chores in her family’s inn. It was during this time that Felicity did the unspeakable and
ended up in the Norwich State Hospital for the Insane.
“Last on A Match” by author Diana K. Perkins is an amazing, incredible story of how being
different can land one in an insane asylum regardless if they were crazy or not. In 1901
homosexuals could be committed to an asylum and this is where readers will find Felicity White.
Having worked in a state school and hospital during the late 60’s I found the author’s vivid
description of the living environment, the treatment and the reasons for placement to be
exceptionally right on target. Perkins’s writing allows readers to become Felicity living her life as
she did. Given the author’s in-depth research regarding laws on institutionalization during the 1900s
and her intimate knowledge of eastern Connecticut, I found the reading to be exceptional,
captivating and shocking.
During the time Felicity was committed she learned a couple of valuable skills: to do as they say
and to become a talented seamstress. Even though most medical staff seemed to care about the
welfare of the patients, there were many experimental treatments given which caused more harm
than good. I will say that Nurse Bliss although somewhat stereotypical as the bad guy, made me
crazy with my emotions. Gosh forbid someone, especially those who are locked up be treated like a
“Last on A Match” is a complex read as one follows Felicity her in and out life in an asylum only to
return to the real world and be committed again. At the end of the book, the author provides some of
the factual buildings, and historical information utilized in her book.
This is the sixth book in the Shetucket River Mill Town series by Diana K. Perkins, and I will be
reading them all. It’s rare that an author can keep me so captivated that I want to read the rest of a
series right away. I highly recommend “Last on a Match” to all who like to find relatable characters,
a little bit of history and a fascinating read.
Thank you Carol Hoyer for Reader Views.