Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review: Belle Cora by Phillip Marguiles

This was a really good book. Excellent historical fiction.

I love it when a book is well-written, the characters are complex and feel real, AND I learn something about a place and time that I previously had little familiarity with. I picked this book up from the new fiction shelves at the library based on the cover blurb. Over half of the books that I find this way end up going back unread.

I started this one with hope, but much trepidation due to the nature of the main character, a famous San Francisco madam. I was very quickly sucked in by the story and the writing. The writing in this book stays out of the way. First-person narratives often feel forced, but this never did. Written in the form of a memoir by the elderly main character, looking back over her life, the writing carried the story beautifully. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, "Unless something changes, this is a five-star book." Nothing changed. Five stars.

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