Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Monday, September 11, 2017

Book Review: Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

Confession: If a book is about a fair, a carnival, or a circus in the past, I will read it. So, when I read the description of Love and Other Consolation Prizes, I immediately wanted to read it. The First World's Fair in Seattle plus a brothel? Yep. I'm in.

And this novel did not let me down. If anything, it is even better than I anticipated. This book is a sorrow-filled portrait of the lives of Asian immigrants that is so incredibly well-written you will want to savor reading it rather than rushing to reach the end. I spent the whole week reading a few chapters at a time and enjoying every minute, which is much different than a book that is primarily plot-driven that sends you rushing through the pages to reach the conclusion.

The novel tells the story of a young Chinese boy who has been sent to America and goes from one children's home to the next until he ends up the winning item in a raffle at Seattle's World Fair in 1909. Who buys him? A madam of the most prestigious brothel in Seattle. He enters a world of sin, but he winds up finding a family and falling in love.

This novel has amazing characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. The various working women are not caricatures but are individual and layered. The settings also come alive - they are not simply backgrounds. The Tenderloin and the World's Fair become characters themselves.

And, the writing. Oh, the writing. Tha author, Jamie Ford, has a gift for evocative language and storytelling. For instance, his writing includes lines like:

  • "As Ernest baptized himself in memory" 
  • "He chose his words the way a man on thin ice chooses his footing"
  • "Ernest struggles to process the ugly details while gazing down on such a beautiful place. His heart felt torn between the two worlds."
  • "Girls were complicated, women confounding, their challenges almost insurmountable."
I could go on and on with all the beautifully written lines I underlined as I read. Basically, this novel is wonderful. I highly recommend it and think it will be a great choice for book clubs. 

** I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

* This book will be released from Amazon tomorrow (September 12, 2017). You may purchase the book by clicking here or the picture. These are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog!

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