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MCLS Booklists

Big Dresses, Big Drama! August 2011

Gilding Lily
By Tatiana Boncompagne

As Lily Bartholomew navigates kiddie birthday parties starring chart-topping entertainment, society dinner-dances where any woman larger than a size 2 can barely stand to show her Botoxed face, and vacations to exclusive hideaways with the mother-in-law from hell, she constantly wonders, "On what planet have I landed?" Desperate to regain her self-esteem, Lily begins writing essays about life among the rich and snobbish, which tosses her into the spotlight and in the path of social disaster. But as Lily navigates her way through the shark-infested waters of Manhattan society, she starts to rediscover her own place in the world—and how to regain what truly matters.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Manhattan’s Upper East Side – Pretend You Live There with This View (video)

The Lightkeeper’s Ball
By Colleen Coble

Olivia Stewart's family is one of the Four Hundred –the highest echelon of society in 1910. When her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, Olivia leaves their New York City home for Mercy Falls, California, to determine what befell Eleanor. She suspects Harrison Bennett, the man Eleanor planned to marry. But the more Olivia gets to know him, the more she doubts his guilt-and the more she is drawn to him herself.

Large Print

The Four Hundred & Lady Astor in America’s Gilded Age (historical article)

For the King
By Catherine Delors

It's Christmas Eve in Paris in the year 1800, a year since First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte seized power. All of the city's elite, including Bonaparte himself, are expected to attend the premiere of the year's most anticipated musical event at the Opera. But as his carriage approaches the theater, a massive bomb detonates on Rue Saint-Nicaise, narrowly missing Bonaparte but killing and maiming dozens of bystanders.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Napoleon Bonaparte – Emperor of France (interactive web site)

By Heather Dixon

Confined to their dreary castle while mourning their mother's death, Princess Azalea and her eleven sisters join The Keeper, who is trapped in a magic passageway, in a nightly dance that soon becomes nightmarish.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Listen to the French fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” (audio)

The Jewel of St. Petersburg
By Kate Furnivall

Valentina Ivanova is the darling of St. Petersburg's elite aristocracy - until her romance with a Danish engineer creates a terrible scandal and her parents push her into a loveless engagement with a Russian count.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Experience winter in St. Petersburg, Russia (video)

The Luxe
By Anna Godbersen

In Manhattan in 1899, five young women of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly
Series Information

Fashion from 1900-1910 (video)

The Dressmaker
By Posie Graeme-Evans

Her happy childhood shattered by her minister father's early death, Ellen Gowan suffers hardship and heartbreak before opening up a fashionable salon in Victorian-era Battle Square, where she is patronized by royalty before her past threatens to destroy everything.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Photos from the Museum of Decorative Arts’ Victorian Fashion Collection (photo collection)

Vienna Waltz
By Teresa Grant

Europe's elite have gathered at the glittering Congress of Vienna, negotiating the fate of the continent by day and pursuing pleasure by night, until Princess Tatiana, the most beautiful and talked about woman in Vienna, is found murdered during an ill-timed rendezvous with three of her most powerful conquests. Suzanne Rannoch and her new husband, Malcolm, set out to investigate the murder, and a complex dance between husband and wife in the search for the truth ensues.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Madame Tussaud
By Michelle Moran

The book follows Marie Tussaud from her beginnings as an unknown wax sculptor working to obtain a visit from the royal family, an event that will garner acclaim for her family's wax salon. But when called to tutor a royal family member, she is placed at the center of the downfall of the French monarchy. Tussaud uses her new position to sculpt likenesses of major politicians, turning her salon into a three-dimensional newsstand for illiterate citizens. The shocking actions and behavior required of Tussaud to survive the revolution make the novel a true page-turner.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Madam Tussauds Today (interactive web site)

Never Less Than a Lady
By Mary Jo Putney

As the sole remaining heir to the Earl of Daventry, Alexander Randall knows his duty: find a wife and sire a son of his own. The perfect bride for a man in his position would be a biddable young girl of good breeding. But the woman who haunts his imagination is Julia Bancroft - a village midwife with a dark secret that thrusts her into Randall's protection.

Downloadable Audiobook

Midwifery (wikipedia)

Redeeming Love
By Francine Rivers

Sold into prostitution as a child, Angel survives by keeping her hatred for men alive, until Michael Hosea obeys God's call to marry Angel and love her unconditionally. As Angel's heart slowly begins to thaw, her feelings of unworthiness and fear cause her to run away, until she realizes that her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does.

Downloadable Audiobook

Hosea’s Wife (video)
Read the Book of Hosea (online interactive Bible)

The School for Brides
By Cheryl Ann Smith

Miss Eva Black spent her life concealing her mother's past as a courtesan. Now a spinster, her beauty hidden away under a dour disguise, Eva spends her days schooling courtesans to be suitable wives. But one vengeful duke does not appreciate Eva turning his mistress into a lady. He plans to seduce Eva into becoming what she detests: a courtesan. But he doesn't expect her to be a woman of such beauty and so many secrets.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Learn more about famous courtesans (wikipedia)

The Heretic’s Wife
By Brenda Rickman Vantrease

Kate Gough, a woman who sells forbidden translations of the Bible in Tudor England, embarks on a daring adventure that leads her into a dangerous marriage and a web of intrigue, pitting her against powerful enemies.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Time Traveler’s Guide to Tudor England (interactive web site)

A Race to Splendor
By Ciji Ware

In this riveting tale of a race against time to rebuild two luxury hotels after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, architect Amelia Bradshaw and client J.D. Thayer sacrifice everything to see the city they love rise from the ashes; in the process, they can't help but lose their hearts.

Review – Publisher’s Weekly

Remembering the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (audio)

The Virgin’s Daughters
By Jeane Westin

In a court filled with repressed sexual longing, scandal, and intrigue, Lady Katherine Grey is Elizabeth's most faithful servant. When the young queen is smitten by the dashing Robert Dudley, Katherine must choose between duty and desire - as her secret passion for a handsome earl threatens to turn Elizabeth against her.

More about the author (website)

The Firebrand
By Susan Wiggs

Five years after rescuing an orphaned infant from the Great Chicago Fire and raising the child as her own daughter, Lucy Hathaway encounters Randoph Higgins, a prominent banker, who turns out to be the father of her little girl.

Large Print
Review – Publisher’s Weekly

The Great Chicago Fire (interactive slide show and timeline)



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