Can a frontier teacher stand idly by as the Shoshone culture is subsumed by Anglo missionaries?
Can a suburban lawyer justify that his casual dalliances don't amount to infidelity?
From the opulent parlor of an 1898 Seattle bordello to a Portland law firm in 1989, each heroine, hero, and villain in this memorable collection of short stories is captured at a crossroads in life. They are ordinary people: brave, timid, foolhardy, modest, brazen, and often self-sacrificing. And they struggle with the budding concerns of their time-women's suffrage, chauvinistic double-standards, prejudice, misogyny, and the loneliness of separation brought on by war.
Gehla S. Knight deftly explores these issues without reserve, placing her characters in crisis situations where they must act despite the murkiness of what's right and what's wrong. In small but powerful ways, their choices challenge the prevailing views of their time and blaze new trails that those who follow can easily travel.
Juxtaposing society's often ill-conceived mores with individual will and desire, Knight deftly combines historical settings with colloquial dialogue and vivid characters. Spanning nearly a century of American history, Plum's Pleasure is a satisfying collection that will tantalize both your senses and sensibilities.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Plum's Pleasure begins with entry into a Victorian bordello and then,contrary to our preconceived notions of morality, gives us heros and villains juxtaposed in a wonderfully redeeming way. The characters in all these stories are so real, and we find ourselves rooting for them despite the gray areas of morality in which they find themselves. The opening novelette sets the tone for descriptive prose that paints startlingly poignant scenes. The book also takes us to a WW2 frontline and a shattered romance, a tragic homecoming for a Korean vet and a snarky lawyer who rationalizes his infidelity to salve his ego. All in all, just a wonderful literary ride that keeps you hoping for just one more story. A terrific read for a lazy weekend or holiday.
The first story in the collection, the eponymous novella plum's pleasure, offers a tantalizing glimpse into 19th century, victorian bawdy house life with some very poignant moments in the transformation of a staid, young virgin who faces a crossroads in her carefully planned future. The attention to detail the author paints makes for some very interesting and delicious scenes. This collection goes on to examine the lives of ordinary women caught up in often extraordinary circumstances. There is an unsolved murder mystery, a ww ii romance with a heart-wrenching ending and the pain of lost love in the life of everyday people. I found the stories intriguing and a bit of a departure from the usual collection of short stories all centered on basic themes set in the same time frame. This collection takes us from 1898 seattle to 1989 portland, oregon with colorful, original prose and dialog in a league of its own.