Mara McClain is a young Irish immigrant looking to begin anew in Victorian-era San Francisco, after the California Gold Rush. She struggles for both love and independence, as a budding businesswoman in a male-dominated society.
Set amid the fascinating backdrop of San Francisco’s Golden Age, Autumn Lady draws from an eclectic cast of characters, both historical and original. It’s an idiosyncratic journey through the highs and lows, ballrooms and back rooms, alleys and the promenades, and the enchantment and viciousness, of an American city on the brink of a new era.
Autumn Lady is not just the story of Mara McClain, it is the story of both a woman and a city coming of age in one of America’s most exciting historical periods.
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Autumn Lady is a lovely book. I was pulled into the very early days of San Francisco from the first moment Mary started reading the diary. I felt that I was was there. Mara comes to San Francisco for a new start. She is a young lady of good breeding who wants to open an art gallery. She rents a room in a boarding house run by Sarah, a widow. There are a mix of people staying there and she makes some wonderful friends.. One person is Patrick Deane, the very handsome man who is a carpenter by day and boxes by night. Patrick saved Mara from a mugger when she first arrives and there is an attraction from the beginning. This is a story that captivated me from the first. As with any story, there are mean and jealous people who try to cause trouble. This book is so descriptive that you can feel and see the fog and the steep hills. I truly enjoyed reading it. I received this book from Net Galley and BooksGoSocial for a honest review and no compensation otherwise.
Autumn Lady offers a love letter to the city of San Francisco and its early citizens. It takes us from present day in the City by the Bay to the city’s origins in the Victorian era and back again. As soon as we meet Mara, the story’s heroine, we know she’s destined to carve a place in this male dominated society. How delightful that she finds a man in Patrick Deane who admires her pluck. Watching him watching her is one of the pleasures of this book. From her cast of characters, we see that San Francisco was not a homogenized population. AnneMarie Dapp has created a generational story that leads her readers along a gratifying path from past to present. A sweet read of romantic proportions. This book was offered as part of WCP/Torrid Book’s read and review program, and I’m very pleased to give it a thumbs up!