Mirror / Edition 1by Lynn Freed
Pub. Date: 01/28/1999
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
In 1920, Agnes La Grange leaves a poor life in England for Durban, South Africa, to make her future. In the house of the Jewish family where she first works as a maid, the wife is dying--which doesn't keep the husband from sneaking to Agnes's room to make love while watching in a mirror he's given her. His unrestrained passion for her (old and a… See more details below
In 1920, Agnes La Grange leaves a poor life in England for Durban, South Africa, to make her future. In the house of the Jewish family where she first works as a maid, the wife is dying--which doesn't keep the husband from sneaking to Agnes's room to make love while watching in a mirror he's given her. His unrestrained passion for her (old and a head shorter he may be) leads her to say, "I have never felt so strongly the power of being alive." And that's in truth the only power Agnes ever wants or values. During her pregnancy, the "old Jew," as she calls him bluntly but without judgment, puts her up in the Railway Hotel--an establishment of which, after the birth of her daughter Leah, she becomes owner and new proprietress by finessing the old man into putting up the money. From then on, Agnes is on her way. "The newspaperman" will be a weak and soon-divorced husband, followed by such lovers as Agnes finds attractive--"the banker," "the hunter," and "the trader." Agnes doesn't even read the papers, but her beauty, life, and business sense draw others to her, seeing her through the Depression and WWII as she's cheated but recovers, buys more property, sees Leah become a famous singer--although not before Leah does just what Agnes did in seducing a husband (readers will find out whose), leaving Agnes a gorgeous child to raise as a second daughter. Forget improprieties: As Agnes says, "this wasn't a story . . . this was a life."
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In 1920 Agnes La Grange did servant work. Then she moved to Durban, South Africa, where she found a job as a housekeeper. She now works for a wealthy Jewish family. Then the Jewish man's wife died, and the Jewish man fell in love with Agnes. As a gift he gave her a full-length mirror. The mirror was a gateway into her new life. When she looked into the mirror she discovered her own physical beauty and passions. After a while working for the man, she got pregnant. So she had to move out of the Jewish families house. She moved into the Railway Hotel. The owner of the Hotel was going bankrupt, so Agnes bought the Railway Hotel. After a few months she had her baby. The Jewish man rushed over to see his daughter. They named her Allegra Leah Grange. Agnes married the newspaperman and Leah called him daddy. Tow years later, Agnes saved enough money and she bought another Hotel called the Avondale Hotel. Leah began school for the first time, and her schoolteacher is Sarah. Sarah is the Jewish man's daughter. Soon after Leah was six years old, Agnes fell in love with another man and liked to hunt animals. She called him her hunter. Agnes was cheating on her husband. She then went to North America to see the hunter. The newspaperman found out about the hunter. So he wanted a divorce. Agnes went bankrupt, so Leah and she had to move to the boarding house. The Jewish man wanted to see Leah because he is dying and he wanted to give her money. Leah wouldn't take it from the Jewish man because she doesn't know him. Three months past and the Jewish man died. Sarah was getting married to a wealthy man. Sarah asked Agnes if she and Leah would like to live in the house and take care of it while she is gone. Leah happened to pick Sarah's bedroom to be hers. Agnes bought the Railway hotel and the Avondale Hotel. The Agnes and Leah moved back into the Railway Hotel and stayed there for a while. This book is good for teenage girls to read, because it talks about a woman having a baby at an early and getting married. Pulse she cheated on people. The Mirror will make people realize having a baby at an early age is harder and getting married is a lot harder, because you wont know who you would meet next.