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Reliance, Illinois av Mary Volmer
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Reliance, Illinois (utgåvan 2016)

av Mary Volmer (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
272693,868 (4)1
"Illinois, 1874: With a birthmark covering half her face, thirteen-year-old Madelyn Branch is accustomed to cold and awkward greetings, and expects no less in Reliance, Illinois. After all, her mother, Rebecca, was careful not to mention a daughter in the Matrimonial Times ad which brought them to the struggling river town. When Rebecca weds, Madelyn poses as her mother's younger sister, and earns a grudging berth in her new house. Deeply injured by her mother's deceptions, Madelyn soon leaves to enter the service of Miss Rose Werner, prodigal daughter of the town's founder. Miss Rose is a suffragette and purveyor of black market birth control who sees in Madelyn a project and potential acolyte. Madelyn, though, wants to feel beautiful and loved, and she pins her hopes on William Stark, a young photographer, and a haunted Civil War veteran. Volmer's large-hearted, captivating novel takes in not just precocious, romantic Madelyn, but a whole town and way of life. Gossip, murder, love and hate, lace-making and drunken fist fights, sinners, saviors, and even Mark Twain himself grace the pages of Reliance, Illinois, a brilliant and beautiful window into American life during a period of tumultuous change. "--… (mer)
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I loved this story of a girl born with a "port wine stain" on her face. Destined never to be seen as a beauty, she and her mother flee to a town on the Mississippi River in the turbulent post-Civil War years. Her mother makes lace but no veil can shield Madelyn from stares and whispers. Madelyn finds comfort of a sort in service to the town's leading lady, a "suffragette" who secretly furnishes birth control to the town's women, when they need it. And Madelyn falls in love for the first time, with handsome, haunted William, a photographer who appears and disappears like one of his photographs developing in a dark room. ( )
  AnaraGuard | Nov 1, 2020 |
Loved this book. Excellent writing, with language and descriptions (the river, the smell of snow in the air, food, clothing) that still resonate.
Set in 1870s in a fictional town about where Grafton is, just below the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi, this is the story of a young girl, Maddy, and her mother as they struggle to survive in a society and economic system that has no place for women outside a wealthy marriage. The necessary deceptions that people use, and Maddy's need to find the truth, propel the story along.

The historical backdrop, including a visit from Sam Clemens and figures from the women's suffrage movement are all accurate and make this a richly textured story.

It left me with a better understanding of the challenges women faced in that time and place, and a deeper and more nuanced consideration of why people lie or withhold information, and the power of love, the more nuanced relationship of love and truth.

Highly recommended. ( )
  bjellis | Jul 22, 2017 |
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"Illinois, 1874: With a birthmark covering half her face, thirteen-year-old Madelyn Branch is accustomed to cold and awkward greetings, and expects no less in Reliance, Illinois. After all, her mother, Rebecca, was careful not to mention a daughter in the Matrimonial Times ad which brought them to the struggling river town. When Rebecca weds, Madelyn poses as her mother's younger sister, and earns a grudging berth in her new house. Deeply injured by her mother's deceptions, Madelyn soon leaves to enter the service of Miss Rose Werner, prodigal daughter of the town's founder. Miss Rose is a suffragette and purveyor of black market birth control who sees in Madelyn a project and potential acolyte. Madelyn, though, wants to feel beautiful and loved, and she pins her hopes on William Stark, a young photographer, and a haunted Civil War veteran. Volmer's large-hearted, captivating novel takes in not just precocious, romantic Madelyn, but a whole town and way of life. Gossip, murder, love and hate, lace-making and drunken fist fights, sinners, saviors, and even Mark Twain himself grace the pages of Reliance, Illinois, a brilliant and beautiful window into American life during a period of tumultuous change. "--

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