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"Leave it to Chance (Prima Donna) to pen a fine historical that’s both a gripping novel and a study of the constraints placed on 19th-century women. Stellar characterization, terrific dialogue, and a twisty plot make this story of old-time Seattle pop." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Evocative of Seattle’s rough history and early society…as fun to read as Jane Adams’ Seattle Green (1987), which is set around the same time." —Booklist
"Chance’s sharp writing, believable and detailed historical setting, and strong female characters keep her latest from descending into melodrama."—Library Journal
“Wrapped in a bonbon of juicy melodrama […] flourishes of page-turning suspense.”-- Agnes Torres Al-Shibibi, Seattle Times
“A few years ago Chance moved from romance to historical fiction with grace and panache. Her powerfully written feminist novels have strong appeal for both long-time fans and newcomers. Her characters leap from the pages as her dialogue grips readers. The dark and wicked twists plot turns are stellar.” -- RTBookReviews.com
“A riveting, intoxicating story with multi-dimensional characters and elements that reminded me of two of my favorite movies—George Cukor's Victorian-set Gaslight and the late '50s Hitchcock thriller, Vertigo…One grand play you won't want to miss.”--Nancy Davis, RomanceReaderAtHeart.com
“Megan Chance breathes life into Geneva and Beatrice, actresses in the city's premier theater company. Although they should be sworn enemies -- they're sharing the affections of one scheming, abusive man -- a winning combination of girl power and circumstance transforms them into heroines of an edgy historical novel that proves impossible to put down.”-- Andrea Hoag, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Throw caution to the wind and just immerse yourself in the absolute drama of it all, you’re in for a wild and amusing ride through muddy Seattle streets.”—Seattlest.com
The fates of an ambitious young actress and an exiled society lady intertwine in 1889 Seattle when the Great Fire nearly burns the fledgling city to the ground.
Geneva Langley, daughter of a wealthy railroad tycoon, has it all, inviting the greatest artists of the day to her Chicago salons.All, that is, but a happy marriage.She poses nude for a sculptor, calculating that the ensuing scandal will force her husband Nathan to divorce her.Instead, she's sent to Seattle, where her husband smells political opportunity in the soon-to-be state.Seattle's cultural life pales beside Chicago's, but it does host theatres where Geneva, shunned by society, seeks solace and meets talented young playwright Sebastian DeWitt.Mrs. Langley, an art patron, is thrilled when her husband begins underwriting the production of a play DeWitt has written to showcase the acting of Beatrice Wilkes, whom he admires. Frustrated to have been thrown over for many a leading role and lacking qualms about using sex to gain advantage, Ms. Wilkes becomesNathan Langley's mistress. The love triangle grows a fourth corner when lonely Mrs. Langley gravitates toward the playwright and her husband encourages their relationship, going so far as to suggest she take the stage, and in the very part meant for Ms. Wilkes, a complete reversal of mind given that he had previously forbidden such scandalous behavior since it caused their exile.Does Mr. Langley's interest in the theatre have more to it than lust for an actress resembling his wife?Mistress and wife ally against Nathan Langley's nefarious schemes, intricately developed against a scorched backdrop.Strangest of all, real life mimics DeWitt's play as they find themselves living parts to rivalHamlet's drama and deception.
With an Art-Nouveau-and-absinthe sensibility, tight plotting and stagecraft complete with traps and twists, Chance (Prima Donna, 2009, etc.) breathes a vitality into her frontier characters á la David Milch'sDeadwood.
Posted February 21, 2014
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Posted July 21, 2012
I have had this book on my nook for quite sometime, but haven't gotten around to reading it until I had to take my car in for a break job. Luckily for me, that lasted three hours and I had the book finished. I absolutely could not put this book down! I fell in love with both of the leading ladies immediately. These women are both self centered, selfish children yet, they both are endearing and caring. This is a great novel and I cannot wait to read more from this author.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 5, 2011
Posted September 5, 2011
Posted August 21, 2011
Posted April 10, 2011
Run, don't walk, to the bookstore to find a copy of this wonderful, atmospheric novel. Ms. Chance is my go-to author for meaty, emotional historical fiction, and she certainly doesn't disappoint in this page turner of a novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.