A Race to Splendor

A Race to Splendor

by Ciji Ware

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402222696
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 1,218,767
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.15(d)

About the Author

Ciji Ware has been an Emmy-Award winning television producer, reporter, writer, lecturer, and radio host. A Harvard graduate in history, she has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books, including the award-winning Island of the Swans. She and her husband of three decades live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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A Race to Splendor 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Roomchanger More than 1 year ago
Those of us who are fans of Ciji's Ware's maticulously researched fictional novels set it real historical places and situations, have waited a long time for a new book and the wait was well worth it! "A Race to Splendor" is an incredibly enjoyable book to read about the rebuilding of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, by two female civil engineer/architects -- one real life architect Julia Morgan who actually did restore the Fairmont Hotel, and Ware's fictional Amelia Hunter Bradshaw, a protege of Julia Morgan. Ameilia's handsome adversary, J.D. Thayer is the perfect adversary "with beneifts" and the villans are dastardly, believable and probably the cause of many of the laws we have today. While reading this story it is particularly easy to feel one's self living in that era. I have loved all of Ciji Ware's books, but in my book this is her masterpiece.
SybilDahl More than 1 year ago
Vividly drawn characters and a compelling storyline propel the narrative of A Race To Splendor, Ciji Ware's latest historical novel. Set in San Francisco against the backdrop of the great 1906 earthquake and fire, the drama unfolds in the tumultuous grip of a city struggling to rebuild. Ruthless entrepreneurs, unsavory politicians, and ordinary citizens play supporting roles, as does Julia Morgan, California's first licensed female architect, in a nicely rendered cameo. The core of the novel revolves around its two main characters, the courageous, young architect Amelia Hunter Bradshaw and roguish man of integrity, J. D. Thayer. Their relationship dances throughout, creating palpable tension and a delicious sense of anticipation. Ware's reputation for masterful storytelling, meticulous research and brilliant creativity is more than confirmed by this delightful novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author, Ciji Ware, takes the reader on a magical journey through San Francisco during the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. I enhaled every page. Her characters came alive through her descriptions, and she truly captured the history of San Francisco. A real treasure of a novel...wonderfully told!
AAR More than 1 year ago
A RACE TO SPLENDOR by Ciji Ware is another interesting historical fiction set in 1906 San Francisco. It is written with depth and details.It has the earthquake of 1906, rebuilding lives, corruption, splendor,power,fortune,tragedy,rivalry,heartache,intrigue,andrebuilding a city from ashes to splendor. This is the the story of two women,the destruction and rebuilding of San Francisco,and the people whose lives where changed forever. History and fiction is interwined to create an interesting and compelling story of San Francisco in 1906,its people,their truimphs and their tragedies.If you enjoy history,facts,and the people of this era you will enjoy this story.This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher.Details can be found at Sourcebooks,Landmark,a division of Sourcebooks,Inc.and My Book Addiction Reviews.
celticlady53 on LibraryThing 26 days ago
A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware, is a very well researched novel about the 1906 earthquake. The San Francisco earthquake took the lives of approximately 3000 people and left more than 200,000 homeless. The book also tells the story of Julia Morgan, a woman architect, who is far ahead of her time. In a world that generally did not accept women to have educations let alone enter a man's world as a professional architect.Julia Morgan is a real person of history who studied and graduated from Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Amelia is also a graduate of the same school that Julia attended and is hired by Julia to work in her architecture firm. Recently returned from Paris, Amelia returns to San Francisco to find that her grandfather has passed away. The Bay View Hotel, that her grandfather owned and was supposed to be her inheritance, but she finds that her father has gambled the hotel away. The new owner is J.D Thayer who is a less than honorable man. I found the writing to be very believable that I could relate to the damage that this earthquake had done to property and people in San Francisco. Amelia also has a falling out with Julia and is hired by J.D to work to rebuild the hotel.There are greedy and licentious characters that make this story suspenseful and of course there is an element of romance. So while people try to get their lives back together in spite of the obstacles that hinder the rebuilding of the Bay View Hotel. The goal is to finish the hotel by April 18th, 1907, a year after the earthquake but Amelia and J.D. realize that because of a fire in the nearly completed hotel, that they will not be able to finish by the scheduled opening date. There are also prejudices against not only women, but to the Chinese people who work for Amelia. After reading Ms.Ware's novels I find it amazing that no matter what historical period she writes about, there is a lot of research that goes into her writing. Ciji Ware is also the author of A Cottage by the Sea, Island of the Swans and Wicked Company. I highly recommend any of these books.
wagner.sarah35 on LibraryThing 26 days ago
An engrossing read about a female architect in the aftermath of San Francisco's 1906 earthquake. Amelia Bradshaw, still bitter over the family hotel her father lost in a poker game, reluctantly partners with J.D. Thayer to rebuild the Bay View Hotel. These two rivals meet a number of obstacles along the way and eventually develop feelings for each other. A fun read, definitely recommended for fans of historical fiction.
olgalijo on LibraryThing 26 days ago
When I read the initial review of "Race to Esplendor" I found it very appealing. I new almost nothing of the San Francisco earthquake, and nothing at all about the first women engineers in the US. The first part of "Esplendor" lived up to my expectations. The portraits of life and society in San Francisco at the time are vivid and detailed. The descriptions of the changing building techniques seem acurate and are also understandable to the lay reader.My attention started to waver in the second half of the book, when the focus changed from the building efforts in the two hotels to the convolutions of the love story between the main characters. If I want to know about twisting love stories, and feminine fears, I can go for a coffee with my girl friends; and probably would have more fun.
blodeuedd on LibraryThing 26 days ago
My thoughts:This was my first book by Ware and I certainly hope it will not be my last because it was a good one. It's set against the backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the fires that destroyed much of the city. Early on tragedy strikes and then we get to see how the city is rebuilt. Or should we say how two hotels are rebuilt.Ware took the real historical character of Julia Morgan and let her finish her Fairmont hotel, and then she created the main character and let her work for Julia on another site. And it was not easy being a female architect at a time like this. But Amelia, the heroine, knows what she wants and this is it. She goes for it, and she works hard and she does not let any man put her down. I liked and respected her. The hero on the other hand was a scoundrel (I just have to use that world cos I love it). She feels that he stole the hotel from her family, that he uses prostitutes at his club, and that he is a lowlife. But then there is more to J.D.Thayer than meets the eye. I have the same concerns at first, I never dislike him though, I was just wary of him. But little by little the real person behind is revealed, and I fall for him just as Amelia unwillingly does.There is so much more to this book than the building of the hotel and a slowly growing romance. There is an insight into the conditions of the Chinese, women kidnapped and forced to become prostitutes, and the how bad the whole population was treated. There is also the plot where the bad guy wants to destroy what Thayer is working for, one way or another.Conclusion:A great historical novel set against an interesting time that I have not read much about, I also found it interesting that women could be architects at that time and was hired (even if it only was J Morgan.) This is a book that I would recommend to fans of historical fiction, and to the rest of you too. It has romance, suspense, and backstabbing.Rating:I am going to read more by this author. A great story.
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I was so hoping that another book about architects would be on the scale of "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan...not even close. Very mediocre writing with boring verbiage.
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