Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
For twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World's Fair feels like a gift. But only once he's there, amid the exotic exhibits, fireworks, and Ferris wheels, does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off--a healthy boy "to a good home."
The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam's precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever known--and against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he's always desired.
But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love.
Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle's second World's Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be, while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters.
Against a rich backdrop of post-Victorian vice, suffrage, and celebration, Love and Other Consolations is an enchanting tale about innocence and devotion--in a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale.
About The Author
My name is James.
Yes, I'm a dude.
I’m also the New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet—which was, in no particular order, an IndieBound NEXT List Selection, a Borders Original Voices Selection, a Barnes & Noble Book Club Selection, Pennie’s Pick at Costco, a Target Bookmarked Club Pick, and a National Bestseller. It was also named the #1 Book Club Pick for Fall 2009/Winter 2010 by the American Booksellers Association.
In addition, Hotel has been translated into 35 languages. I’m still holding out for Klingon (that’s when you know you’ve made it).
My second novel, Songs of Willow Frost was published September 2013.
My latest novel, Love and Other Consolation Prizes, will be published September 12, 2017.
On the personal side, I'm the proud father of more teenagers than I can keep track of. Yep, it's chaos, but the good kind of chaos.
What a powerful, up close and personal, emotional ride featuring Ernest Young/aka Yung Kun-ai, and we walk in his shoes throughout the novel.
With a start in China our little fellow tells of horrible happenings, and being so hungry, he gleaned a harvest rice plot for a few scraps, and then he is gone. What is remarkable that he survived at all, and in doing so we meet his two daughters.
Talk about the down trodden, we meet them and through Ernest we walk in their shoes, and from the shores of China to Seattle. He was born to Chinese mother and an English father, and as such was an outcast, in both China and America.
The Worlds Fairs in Seattle, yes the one in early 1900, and again in late 1950’s are the back drop for a lot of this story, along with a brothel, and what the two have to do with each other, you are on one amazing journey once you turn the first page.
It took me a little bit to figure out who Grace was, and then more surprises are about to fall. A book to tear your heart, and again warm it, and you will be quickly be absorbed in the lives of the people and events that follow young Ernest.
I received this book through Net Galley and Ballantine Books, and was not required to give a positive review.