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Wealth and Privilege
     

Wealth and Privilege

4.5 2
by Jeanette A Watts
 

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Money. Family. Love. Hate. Obsession. Duty. Politics. Religion - or the lack thereof. Sex -- or, once again, the lack thereof.

Thomas Baldwin finds himself married to a woman he can't stand, while head-over heels in love with another woman he can't have. Talk about bad planning. He is something of a kite, buffeted by circumstances which blow him not only through

Overview

Money. Family. Love. Hate. Obsession. Duty. Politics. Religion - or the lack thereof. Sex -- or, once again, the lack thereof.

Thomas Baldwin finds himself married to a woman he can't stand, while head-over heels in love with another woman he can't have. Talk about bad planning. He is something of a kite, buffeted by circumstances which blow him not only through personal crises, but also through some of the most significant events in Pittsburgh during the late 1800s, including the railroad riots of 1877, the creation of the Homestead Steel Works, the assassination of President Garfield, and the Johnstown Flood. Over time, and with the help of his muse, who dances maddeningly just beyond his reach, he takes control of his life, wresting it from the winds attempting to control him.

A carefully-researched historical novel about life among the privileged class of Pittsburgh during the Industrial Revolution.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-20
A historical novel set in late-19th-century Pittsburgh.Watts' debut tells the story of Thomas Baldwin, who goes into the family iron business. He falls almost instantly in love with the unconventional and beautiful Regina Waring, a married businesswoman. He marries Meredith, however, whom he can barely tolerate after she, with some coaching from her mother, tricks Thomas into a compromising situation. Thomas' inability to stop the sham marriage is more an indicator of his passivity than the social mores of the time. What follows is a life in which Thomas throws himself into his business while failing to so much as consummate his marriage. A partnership with the Warings allows him to spend more time with Regina, and the two become friends as well as business partners. Mr. Waring dies in an industrial accident, and Thomas comforts Regina. When the grief threatens to overtake her, he insists that she travel to Europe even as he regrets sending her away from him. The long, slow love story builds to an inevitable conclusion with a dramatic, somewhat abrupt ending. The novel is rich in historical detail and facts, along with many real-life historical figures. Occasionally, the need to reference such facts forces the characters into stilted conversations, such as when Regina explains the Comstock Laws to Thomas, though for the most part, the facts blend well with the storyline. Thomas is a difficult character to like; he's spineless, and while his hatred for his wife is not without cause, he seems to overlook the fact that he did allow himself to be lured into the marriage. During one tirade, Thomas tells Meredith, "Ignorami such as yourself aren't generally equipped with the mental capacity for much comprehension, are they? Every glimpse I get of your vapid countenance is a mnemonic that I've been saddled with an imbecile." That said, he displays some character growth and ultimately redeems himself.This slow-moving love story provides a glimpse of the Industrial Age in western Pennsylvania.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781490934518
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
12/14/2013
Pages:
408
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)

Meet the Author

Jeanette Watts couldn't help but notice that all romances seemed to be set in the American West or the South. A staunch Yankee girl, she asked what is unromantic about the North or the East? After living for four years in Pittsburgh, and falling deeply in love with southwestern Pennsylvania, she found it the perfect location for a love story.

Besides writing, she is also a dance instructor, an inveterate seamstress, the artistic director for several dance companies, an actress, and a history buff. Wealth and Privilege took her 10 years to write, because she felt the research needed to be thorough. Everything from big events and famous people to little details like dog breeds and city names (Minneapolis residents will be pleased to see that she acknowledges that the city was called St. Anthony's Falls in 1878) have been carefully researched.

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Wealth and Privilege 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was unusual and unpredictable. It didn't conform to any of my expectations. I was floored by the ambiguous ending. I couldn't generate any sympathy for any of the characters, especially the main guy, for his abominable treatment of Meredith. It's good to have a book that presents a humanistic outlook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Folks, this is a romance, but not like any I have read before. The richness in the descriptions of the time and the places make me want to go and spend time in this city.  I feel as if I have watched a sliver of history unfold before me. I truly have enjoyed this book. I recommend it to all ages. Nurianna~