Friday, September 22, 2017

Love and Other Consolation Prizes : Book Review

I fell in love with Jamie Ford's first novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and he quickly became a must-read author for me. So, I was super excited to receive an early copy of Love and Other Consolation Prizes to review.

Ernest Young was just a little boy when his starving mother left him in the graveyard to be collected with the other children and taken to America. Through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events, a now twelve year old Ernest Young is to be raffled off the prize holding ticket at the World's Fair in Seattle.

Years later, his journalist daughter has been digging into the 1909 World Fair and discovers this tiny tidbit. Could the boy that was raffled off so many years ago be her father? She approaches him to tell his story which she is sure will be a newspaper hit. He is reluctant only because his story intertwines so much with his sick wife's story and he wants to save her from any possible humiliation. For Ernest wasn't claimed by a family but by the Madam to the most high-class brothel. Ernest will form deep friendships with the Madam's feisty daughter Maisie and scullery maid Fahn.

I had just finished listening to the audio version of Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement that was about Chinese courtesans and I didn't love it (Sorry Amy, way too many details) so I wasn't sure I was really in the mood for more of the infernal sex trade. However, Jamie Ford handled it so much better. It was an honest and careful novel about young people caught in a tragic world they barely understand and how they were able to deal with it and eventually move past it, while finding love and hope.

Love and Other Consolation Prizes is a very beautiful and moving story told with so much passion and consideration. I just adored Ernest and his love for the two wildly beautiful and bold young women and how he would just about anything to save them.

Anyone who loved Ford's earlier novels will also love Love and Other Consolation Prizes. I promise.

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford is published Ballatine Books and released on September 12, 2017.

**I received a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received.**

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