Breath and Bones

Breath and Bones

by Susan Cokal

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In 1884, Famke Summerfugl is ousted from her convent in Denmark for ... sensuousness and pulled from servitude by a second-rate painter named Albert Castle. Loving to be looked at, and able to stand perfectly still without shivering, Famke is the ideal artist’s model.

When Albert takes his eight-foot masterpiece and leaves his model behind, Famke sets out over the Atlantic, convinced that she is his muse.

Following Mirabilis, her highly acclaimed debut, Susann Cokal blends pre-Raphaelite painting, American brothels, Utahan polygamists, a bit of cross-dressing, a dynamite-wielding labor movement, one California millionaire, and the invention of electrical stimulation (as treatment for consumption) into a comic novel that gallops across the American west.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936071142
Publisher: Unbridled Books
Publication date: 05/01/2006
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Susann Cokal is the author of the previous novel Mirabilis. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Breath and Bones 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the latter half of the nineteenth century in Denmark, Famke was raised by nuns who cannot deal with the precocious rowdy child. Finally the sisters find her work when she was a teen on a farm. Toiling on a farm seems too boring so Famke takes off for Copenhagen........ She moves in with an untalented English painter Albert and earns a living as a model and his lover though he performs worse in bed than he does with a brush. Failing in Europe, Albert returns to the States leaving his mistress behind. Missing him, Famke follows Albert across the Atlantic though to pay passage she ¿converts¿ to Mormonism so that a missionary will pay her ocean voyage tab even if that means becoming the third living wife. Landing in America, her trek continues cross country while her tuberculosis that she caught in the monastery worsens until she reaches the Hygeia Springs Institute for Phthisis in California where they promise a cure. The electrical treatments provide sensual pleasure much greater than Albert ever did, but the TB remains as strong as ever. Still following her ex, she catches up to him in San Francisco, but will they reunite................. This is an oddly amusing but extremely dark look at the late nineteenth century as seen mostly through the eyes of a delightful hedonist protagonist. The strong cast provides a different perspective to the 1880s in Denmark and the United States then the audience normally sees, but it is fabulous Famke as a female Tom Jones (the novel not the singer) who holds the tale together. Susann Cokal is an author worth following with this strong showing and her previous powerhouse (see MIRABILIS)................ Harriet Klausner