Vixen (The Flappers Series #1)

Vixen (The Flappers Series #1)

by Jillian Larkin

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385740340
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 12/14/2010
Series: Flappers Series , #1
Pages: 421
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jillian Larkin’s fascination with flappers and the 1920s began during her childhood, which included frequent home screenings of the classic Julie Andrews/Carol Channing film Thoroughly Modern Millie. She lives in New York.

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Vixen 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 242 reviews.
RaeLynn_Fry13 More than 1 year ago
Set in 1920's Chicago, Jillian Larkin tells a story of love, jealousy, secrets and revenge, all woven together masterfully. Her novel, Vixen, starts with a short & sweet prologue at only 169 words long. Jillian left me thinking to myself, "Ooh, this is going to be good" Here is the two sentences hook that got me: "And then, before snapping her bag closed, she added the small black handgun. Now she was ready." Who's she gonna kill? I don't care! She's gonna look HOT doing it. Vixen is the first in The Flapper series following Gloria Carmody during the 1920's in Chicago. She's a rich white socialite engaged to the very eligible bachelor, Sebastian Grey. Gloria thinks she loves him, but when she takes one last foray as a bachelorette, she isn't so sure. The story is told from alternating points of view of Gloria, her cousin Clara Knowles, and her best friend Lorraine Dyer. Each girl has a secret to hide and will do anything to keep them that way. Gloria is in love with another man-a black jazz piano player from the local speakeasy, Green Hill, named Jerome Johnson. Lorraine is hiding her midnight tryst with Gloria's fiancé. Country Clara is hiding her Flapper past in New York after she had been sent home after a serious scandal broke out around her. Each girl is tied to the other in their secrets, new friendships are formed, and old ones lost, as each has to deal with the decisions they make and their repercussions they create. Everything Larkin gave me was real and tangible. I could taste descriptions of the clothes, and hair, and atmosphere. From the dark and smoke-filled Speakeasies to the cheap liquor during Prohibition. I felt the jealousy that Lorraine had every moment she was with Gloria, but also the love she held for her best friend and her unreturned feelings towards Marcus who will never look at her that same way. I think that's the character I could relate to the most, because everything about her was so real. Clara is relatable, as well. Everyone has secrets they want to hide away from the world and try to make a new start somewhere else. One thing I really liked about this storyline is the fact that Marcus and Gloria are best friends. That's it. End of story. There isn't some secret crush or love triangle involving-and it's not because Marcus is gay. It's because the author has seen that that's been overdone and that maybe a girl and guy are just friends, darn it! Despite the lack of romance between those two characters, there is still A LOT of PG-rated sexual tension throughout the story and for each of the characters-from unreturned, reluctant, forbidden, and false love-it's all there and in spades, and I fell for it all. This is a great novel from a debut author. So many times I see superficial writing and simple stories, especially in YA-it's almost like new authors are scared of going 'too deep'. But not so with Larkin. Her novel is intricate and detailed, exciting and interesting. When people say that a book is "character driven", this is what they mean. The story is there, and it is strong, but it comes secondary to the characters and their arcs-their story. The characters move the plot. And it moves so smoothly. I can't say enough how much I loved this book. It was a little over 400 pages, but it felt like a walk in the park, it went so fast. I can't wait to get my hands on number two in the series.
mobchick16 More than 1 year ago
Honestly I think most people will enjoy this book but dont get me wrong at one point I totally forgot they were in the twenties because of how modern the characters speak, occasionally the author will throw in an old phrase but the setting just doesnt feel old. I keep picturing these kids with cell phones and laptops. It also got boring after awhile, I would suggest Bright Young Things, feels a lot more into that time period and has a stronger story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am going to be completely honest, when I first started this book, it could not keep my attention, in fact I started paying closer attention more towards the end of the story...but other than that I am kind of looking forward to the sequel as long as it was as interesting as the last couple of chapters of Vixen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can not help but fall in love with this book. At frust I thought I might not like it given that it is a book set in the 1920's, but after I read the prologue (now seriously I am a MAJOR critic when it comes to books, but i could'nt help it) I was hooked. Oh and by the way reading the second now; I haven't finished yet, but I already love it...LOVING IT!!!
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Let's go back to the 1920's, to the days of flappers and prohibition, and young lady's trying to make their mark on the world. Gloria Carmody seems to have everything...the money, the boy, the lifestyle, and friends. But she's just not quite happy with any of it. One night she sneaks out with her best friends, Lorraine and Marcus, into the biggest speak easy in town. She falls in love with the music, the atmosphere, and the people. Lorraine has always been jealous of Gloria. She had everything, the perfect life, but at least she could tag along and absorb part of the glory as her best friends. Then one day she finds out that Gloria is hiding a secret from her, a big secret. She holds Gloria's future in her hands - what will she do with it? Gloria's cousin, Clara, has come to town to help Gloria plan for her upcoming wedding. She also comes to escape a wild lifestyle back home and get back on track the way a proper society girl should. Little does she know that all her secrets are at risk of spilling out and ruining her new life. This book in one of the memorable reads for 2010. The characters were developed perfectly and the story was captivating. I don't think I've ever read a novel about the 20's and it was fascinating to read about the time period. Jillina Larken is going on my watch list for authors, I can't wait until she releases the next in the series. 5/5
Sheltiemama More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad "Vixen" is the first in a series, because I want to read more! Set in the 1920s, the three main characters are Gloria, who's engaged to Sebastian, scion of a wealthy and powerful family; her best friend, Lorraine, who harbors jealousy for her pal; and Gloria's cousin, Clara, who ran away from her family's farm for New York City and has a scandalous past she's escaping. Gloria's always been a good girl, but one night she and her friend Marcus get into a speakeasy and she sees musician Jerome for the first time. They hit it off, but there's a huge problem (well, besides Gloria's engagement). The talented piano player is black and Gloria is white. Oh, and it's the 1920s, remember? Gloria decides she wants to sing at the club, and thus begins a whole lot of sneaking around by a whole lot of people. Throw in a mobster, romance and an all-important engagement party, plus lots of "liquid courage" consumed during Prohibition, and you have a vivid portrait of the lives of these characters and the flapper era. The descriptions of the designer clothing of that time period are scrumptious. "Vixen" has an ending I didn't see coming and is just delightful. I wish I could give it 4.5 stars.
swan480 More than 1 year ago
As a reader of YA lit and a fan of the 1920s, I was thrilled to see Vixen, the first book in a new YA series about several girls in the 1920s. The book is great, with compelling characters and story, and the promise of more of the same in the second book. The setting feels realistic and well-researched, which is exciting for anyone who really loves the 1920s! The book also has some feminist undertones, as the main characters test the limits of society's expectations for them. In a genre that is currently overrun with Twilight-esque series, The Flappers offers something different. Don't get me wrong, I love those books, but it's refreshing to finally see a compelling teen series set in my favorite period in history!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I can't wait for the sequel! It was definitely a nice change to read a book with the setting in the 20's and to get a look into the flapper lifestyle and social etiquette of the 20's. Quite different from today! However, the main character, Gloria, was overshadowed by the more powerful characters of Lorraine and Clara. Clara was definitely my favorite character with Lorraine my least. I was rooting for Clara throughout the novel. You will hope for a Cinderella ending for her and the worst for Lorraine! This book is one that you will have a hard time putting down!
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
The 1920's brought about all kinds of change for the US, some bad like speak easies, the mob and prohibition, and some good things like women deciding they wanted to be more than chattel, wanted the right to vote. The term Flapper was created and applied to a "new breed" of western women, who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair and listened to jazz among other things contrary to acceptable behavior. Meet Gloria, a Chicago socialite in training, engaged to the "right" man, going to the "right" school, getting ready to live the "right" life. Lorraine, Gloria's BFF who's tired of living in her shadow and takes huge steps to change it. Clara, Gloria's cousin sent to Chicago after disgracing herself in NY These three young women will make some life changing decisions between the pages of this novel. Some you'll expect and some you won't believe. So let me invite you on a journey back in time where Billy Holliday will be heard belting out her blues in the background. Ms. Larkin used her own time machine in the creation of this imaginative, colorful and slightly noir look at the "Roaring Twenties" through the eyes of our young characters just peeking around the corner to adulthood. She leaves behind the glossy and shows her audience the underbelly of Chicago society in the smoky and illegal basement rooms known as speakeasies, gets us up close and personal with the Chicago Mob and introduces us to an up and coming Black Jazz musician. But more that that she uses her knowledge of the era to literally paint it in her readers minds as we absorb the culture and counter culture of the 1920's through her words. She gives us over the top characters that if we didn't know it would think were much older than the 17 year olds they are. She gives us life lessons about love found and love lost and forbidden love. She makes us ask the question is love enough and what would we do for love. If you're ready for a slightly darker look at life in the Flapper era then Vixen is for you, if you're looking for a coming of age read where the prices are high then Vixen is for you. If you're a great lover of a wonderful story and great characters look no farther. And be sure to check out the sequel Ingenue due out in 2011.
DSaff More than 1 year ago
The Roaring 20's, radically different from today. Really? Are people or their choices really different today, or is it the day in which we are living. Seventeen seems to be the age of stretching and reaching beyond the bounds, and that is true for Gloria Carmody, Lorraine Dyer, and Clara Knowles. While Gloria and Lorraine come from the privileged life of Chicago, Lorraine grew up in PA, but ran away to NYC. The three are brought together for the upcoming wedding of Gloria to Sebastian Grey. But when illegal activities like drinking and the speakeasy life beckon; or unheard of relationships like those between a black man and a white woman or the opportunity for a relationship with a gangster come into focus, what will their choices be? "Vixen" will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more! I had the privilege to read "Vixen" as part of Barnes & Noble's First Look Group. Jillian Larkin has a hit on her hands with this YA novel, a novel that will appeal to readers of all ages. Her study of the time period and attention to detail transported me to the time of flappers and speakeasies. Her characters are real, as are the situations they find themselves in. I found myself cheering, booing, and becoming teary-eyed while reading. This is a great book for young adults, as well as those not quite "young" anymore, and for reading/discussion groups. There are three promised in The Flappers series, with "Ingenue" coming out in August 2011, and after that "Diva." Not only will it be difficult to wait for "Ingenue" to come out, but I hope there will be more than three in the series! Well done, Jillian!
flashlight_reader on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Speakeasies. Forbidden romance. Betrayal. Jillian Larkin¿s novel Vixen has all of these elements and more! Vixen is the first novel in the new The Flappers series. In this book, Gloria, the beautiful protagonist, is out to claim her identity before her marriage to the prestigious Sebastian Grey. After one night at the speakeasy the Green Mill, Gloria finds herself changed, but she doesn¿t know to what extent. Suddenly, she is more outspoken and mysteriously drawn to Jazz. With her friends Marcus and Lorraine, Gloria continues to frequent the Green Mill despite knowing that her fiancé and mother would be furious if they found out. After several twists and turns (and sultry scenes) Gloria finds herself breaking every rule she has ever known. Her world is changing faster than she thought possible. Gloria starts sneaking out of her house to visit the forbidden speakeasy, protesting against the rules and her pretentious fiancé, and finds herself forming romantic feelings for the club¿s taboo pianist, Jerome Johnson. Everything is working out for Gloria until someone betrays her. Could it be Lorraine, her insanely jealous, social-climbing best friend? Clara, her ¿sweeter than pie¿ cousin (with a dark secret) from Pennsylvania? Bastian, Gloria¿s fiancé with a wicked alter-ego? Larkin¿s beautiful, descriptive language paints a beautiful setting of 1920s Chicago. Her writing style transports the reader to that fantastic era in American history. Capturing the allure of flappers, speakeasies and gangster-ruled Chicago is certainly one of Larkin¿s writing strengths¿along with the development of her characters. The passion between Gloria and Jerome is searing, and gives the reader goose bumps. But Jerome and Gloria aren¿t the only characters shooting sparks. Readers can feel the passion between Marcus and Clara escalating. The ending of Vixen will leave you with your mouth agape. Lies, scandal, murder, and shocking revelations leave Gloria racing towards a new chapter in her life, and embarking on a journey that no previous Chicago socialite has ever been a part of before. But Gloria isn¿t the only character facing new adventures. Marcus and Clara have found the beginning of something wonderful, while Lorraine and Bastian are seething in the shadows of jealousy and revenge. The next book in the series, Ingénue, (set to be published in August 2011) will surely be¿as our young flappers would say¿¿totally Jake.¿
jazzcat15 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
My Thoughts: It was just fabulous! Vixen is set in the 1920s, which is my favorite time-period to read about. This is why I can easily say that I LOVED this book! I have said this a million times before and I'll say it a million times more, I was born in the wrong era!The story moves incredibly fast and is really well written. I never got bored, not once. It was a great change from all the paranormals and dystopias that are so huge in YA books. I have always had a fascination with this time-period, as I mentioned before, but I don't have much luck in finding good books set in it. Larkin made me forget about our modern world for the day that it took me to read this novel and it felt like I was transported back in time to the world of Gloria, Lorraine and Clara. The story changed from the point of view of each girl every chapter, but once again I was impressed with how flawlessly the author pulled this off. I was never confused as to what was happening, as it was all chronological. The characterization in this book was phenomenal. Each girl had their own lives, their own struggles, their own flaws. Each of them have very different lives that show us unique aspects of the decade. I loved that Larkin was able to show Lorraine in a way that, although her actions should make the reader despise her, she was really just a damaged and jealous girl in need of a hug. Now, onto the romance side of things. Of course! This was a part of Vixen that both bugged me and intrigued me. The fact that Marcus and Gloria are just friends was delightful. No love-triangle there, with the forbidden love and the best friend. It was obvious that there was no way that could happen, which made me extremely pleased. That type of triangle gets a bit old after a while, don't you think? So I suppose I should actually specify the 'forbidden love' as Jerome Johnson, the African-American piano player. It was sort of an almost love at first sight situation with Gloria and Jerome, but of course it blossomed into something more. I felt as if their relationship took of very quickly and there wasn't a lot of time in between when they were singing in the basement and when they were sipping hot chocolate at the ice rink. It was sweet, but a little fast in my opinion. I don't even know why I think that, but I do. Then there's Sebastian, Gloria's fiance. No doubt about it, I didn't feel any sympathy for him at all. He was just a lying, cheating pig in my eyes. GO JEROME!The end of this novel was crazy. I was kind of expecting it, but not so much that I didn't enjoy it. The shock of it all was a huge twist from the romantic scene right before. It left me craving more of this incredible world that Larkin wrote about and I really wanted to go talk to my great-grandmother to see if she could tell me any stories of her mother in the twenties. Vixen is the perfect novel for anyone who takes interest in the Roaring Twenties and I'd recommend it to anyone who is getting tired of the same old YA material, (that I enjoy, of course) and are needing a break. Larkin has written a novel that is intricate and detailed, suspenseful and amusing. I loved every minute of it and I can't wait to get my hands on Ingenue, once it is restocked in the bookstore.
FionaCat on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Gloria Carmody has it all: looks, money, and a big shiny diamond engagement ring from Sebastian Grey, the most eligible bachelor in 1920¿s Chicago. But Gloria wants more from life than being a Chicago socialite; she longs for the exciting life of the flappers, those girls with the short bobbed hair (and even shorter skirts) who live it up at the notorious speak-easies scattered throughout the city.Her best friend Lorraine has money and social standing, too, but more than anything she wants Gloria¿s friend Marcus all to herself. She also wants to regain her place as the most daring girl in their set; after all, she was the first one to bob her hair in their class. Now that Gloria is starting to shine, Lorraine finds herself falling into the shadows.Gloria¿s cousin Clara has arrived from rural Pennsylvania to help with arrangements for the big wedding, but Clara has a few secrets of her own she¿d like to conceal about her life in New York City.When Gloria and her friends visit The Green Mill, the hottest speak-easy in Chicago, they are exposed to an underground world of hot jazz, cold gin and even colder gangsters. Can Gloria escape her engagement and live the flapper life she longs for? Will Lorraine ever get out of Gloria¿s shadow and get what she wants for once? Will Clara¿s deep dark secret be revealed to the world? From the outside, Chicago and it¿s debutantes look prim and proper, but on the inside, it¿s a world of secrets and sin ¿where the gin is cold and the piano¿s hot / It¿s just a noisy hall where there¿s a nightly brawl / And all that jazz!¿
lilibrarian on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Gloria is 17 and engaged to be married. Prohibition is in effect and her fiance is dull, convservative and boring, and she wants to have some fun before the wedding. Her farm-girl cousin, Clara, has come to help with the wedding, but may not be exactly what she seems. Gloria, her friend Marcus, her best-friend Lorraine and Clara get involved in Chicago's underground speak-easy scene.
Rigfield on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Fun and flirty, this YA historical fiction is more entertaining than it should be, while still providing a historically accurate backdrop. A great read for anyone just wanting some "mind candy"!
AnnaKay21 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
So, this book TRULY surprised me! I did not think that it would be as good as it turned out to be. I figured it would be a let down, because how could it match up to the description that it was given? This book had a very surprising cliffhanger ending that I will not spoil. I ended up loving all of the girls, but I think my favorite was Clara. She is trying so hard to figure out who she is after a major disappointment in life. I loved Marcus, who is best friends with Gloria. He was the most wonderful guy in the book other than Jerome Johnson. Speaking of Jerome, I DEFINITELY did not expect this book to explore interracial relationships and prejudices in the 1920s! The way Jillian Larkin did this was relatable and realistic. This entire book has absolutely beautiful descriptions and emotional insights. It was in triple third-person omniscient point of view, so each chapter alteranated between the girls (Gloria, then Clara, then Lorraine) and while it didn't use the word 'I' it got inside of their thoughts in a very personal way. Bastian Grey is a very odd character, because at first you think that you know who he is; then he turns into someone completely different. It was very shocking the way his character changed, but he was so deliciously villainous!
farnsworthk on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A totally fun book that was way more sophisticated than most teen books I've read. It's good and complete on it's own, but the characters are interesting enough to make me want to read the next one. Great debut book.
bellabrax on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Awesome read! Oh, I actually listened to it :) It has a great storyline and keeps you guessing. Also, Vixen brings up some controversial issues during that time. It's a story that makes you think and I like that.
lyricaltwin on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Nobody ever writes YA books taking place in the '20s. Jillian Larkin did. And she pulled it OFF. I loved the rich description of the flapper lifestyle and the upper class and segregation and drama and wow-factor. LOVED IT! I recommend this to anybody who loves romance, historical fiction, and/or drama.
sdbookhound on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This was an entertaining read. I have to say that I don't know how truly realistic it was. Were the flappers really that young? I don't know, but I may have to look into more of the history of this era. I will check out the sequel so that must mean I enjoyed it.
bookwormygirl on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I absolutely love books that take place in the Roarin' 20's. I love the glitz, the glamor, the jazz and smoky lounges... and Ms. Larkin definitely captures it all in Vixen. Through Gloria, Clara and Lorraine we see how these girls come of age in a time of prohibition, speak-easys, and the flapper era. It was entertaining to read - the storyline was driven and scandalous and full of juicy tidbits that, although I did see some coming, some took me by surprise. Told in alternating chapters through each of the girls perspectives you get to know each girl individually. And that was my main complaint - the characters themselves. I never really liked any of the girls. They were spoiled, deceitful, snotty, selfish and each was on their very own self-destructive path. Of the three, I liked Clara the most. She showed some depth that I wasn't expecting. Her secrets were really the most intriguing aspect of the story and what kept the pages turning for me. Also make note that this may be inappropriate for younger readers. There is a whole lot of booze, smoking and I thought it was pretty sexy - more so, than your normal YA lit - albeit rendered tastefully.Although the story does have a steady plot line and is fast-paced, it did not hold my attention long enough for me to continue with the series. All in all, I think fans of YA and/or historical fiction will like this, it just sadly didn't connect with me.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing 10 months ago
First of all, Bravo! to Jillian Larkin for exploring a time period that should be explored in Young Adult fiction. The Roaring Twenties are so much fun to learn about, not just for the mobsters and speakeasy's, but also the fashion is bright and fun, the hairstyles are, frankly, gorgeous and cities were filled with wonder and life.When I was in college, pursuing a degree in Piano Performance, I got a job playing in the backroom of a 50's diner. Every Friday and Saturday night I dressed up in fancy dresses, wore sparkling earrings and necklaces and sat down to play Gershwin and Joplin at a piano in a room dimly lit. The dance floor in front of my piano would hold various couples doing the Charleston, who were admitted through a door up a hall, in the back of the building - the entrance in the alleyway. When they'd call to make a reservation they'd be given a password - which they had to use or they wouldn't be admitted. I played for hours on those nights, watching the tips fall into the large martini glass set on top of the piano for that purpose. And thus, my real life experience in a Speakeasy was given.So I hold a love for the 20's. I remember those weekends with a lot of fondness and when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. Jillian Larkin did a beautiful job portraying the times, describing the dresses, detailing the class differences and parties held. There were some aspects of the book that I have a slight issue with (mainly the overuse of certain terms - you can have too much of a good thing), but overall the book was interesting, had an eventful plot, a lot of history and enough romance to satisfy the romantic in me.I think these books are bound to be a hit. There's no magic, no paranormal aspect, and it's nice to see a book that has a solid story without needing any of that. Just plain drama - fun-filled 20's drama. In other words, this book was the bee's knees.
nfmgirl2 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
These kids are trying to sort out their place in our world-- to figure out their role. And they are trying to play "grown up", and sometimes get themselves into things that they aren't ready for.Lorraine is just dying to be the center of attention and wants to be Gloria. Clara convincingly plays the role of the "country cad". Gloria finds herself on a path to adulthood that she may not want to be on, and Marcus is living the life of the ladies man.The 20s were so restrictive, and the Flappers were struggling against those bonds. Women had no freedom. They were ruled by their fathers and their uncles, and husbands and bosses-- heck, even their mothers. The speakeasy gave the girls a sense of freedom. They could shed the restrictive trappings of society and "be free". Even the character Jerome doesn't really seem free. A young black musician of the time, he is ruled by the gangsters and by his skin. Marcus is probably the freest character portrayed in the book. He's a blond, blue-eyed white male. Who could have been "freer" in the 20s?I found this to be a really enjoyable read. It actually kept me guessing, which doesn't happen very often. It gave me a taste of what it was like to live in the "Roaring Twenties". A time with some kids choosing to grow up quite quickly and opting to live life in the fast lane (not so different from today).All in all a very good debut novel!
jasmyn9 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Let's go back to the 1920's, to the days of flappers and prohibition, and young lady's trying to make their mark on the world. Gloria Carmody seems to have everything...the money, the boy, the lifestyle, and friends. But she's just not quite happy with any of it. One night she sneaks out with her best friends, Lorraine and Marcus, into the biggest speak easy in town. She falls in love with the music, the atmosphere, and the people.Lorraine has always been jealous of Gloria. She had everything, the perfect life, but at least she could tag along and absorb part of the glory as her best friends. Then one day she finds out that Gloria is hiding a secret from her, a big secret. She holds Gloria's future in her hands - what will she do with it?Gloria's cousin, Clara, has come to town to help Gloria plan for her upcoming wedding. She also comes to escape a wild lifestyle back home and get back on track the way a proper society girl should. Little does she know that all her secrets are at risk of spilling out and ruining her new life.This book in one of the memorable reads for 2010. The characters were developed perfectly and the story was captivating. I don't think I've ever read a novel about the 20's and it was fascinating to read about the time period. Jillina Larken is going on my watch list for authors, I can't wait until she releases the next in the series.5/5
bonitajean on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Picked this book up by mistake, very good mistake. Enjoyed the trial and tribulations of these young "flappers." I did notice a few errors in Ms. Larkins writing of her characters. She mis-used names, when talking about Lorrian she used Clara's name instead, twice she used Clara inlieu of the character she was telling about. No problem, I knew who she meant and never lost beat in the story.