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Vera by Carol Edgarian

Summary Vera by Carol Edgarian

Includes Vera’s young lover Bobby protector of the city’s tribe of orphans and three generations of a Chinese family competing and conspiring with Vera Told with unflinching candor and wit this coming of age adventure investigates the nature of sex power and the fortitude reuired to lead as it charts one tumultuous year in the life of a girl and her city This tale of improbable outcomes and alliances takes hold from the very first page gifting readers with remarkable scenes of devastation renewal and joy Edgarian’s Vera is a timeless and timely novel of an indomitable spirit’s uest for love and reinvention in the aftermath of catastrophe.

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A sweeping and richly captivating novel about an indomitable heroine coming of age in the aftermath of catastrophe and her uest for love and reinvention from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Three Stages of Amazement Scrappy fifteen year old Vera Johnson illegitimate daughter of Rose the notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s ritziest bordello and ally to the city’s corrupt politicians narrowly survives the devastating 1906 earthuake Relying on her wit and determination Vera and her unlikely new family of survivors navigate a world reborn in the wake of disaster In Vera Carol Edgarian creates a panoramic and deeply compass.

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Ionate world where notions of honor survival and love are tested and grace is hard won Vera celebrates the bold resilience its heroine bears in the face of a disregarding mother and a colorful cohort of liars thieves and con artists who would manipulate the teenage girl while her righteous neighbors judge her for her low birth A ravishing heartbreaking and profound affirmation of youth and a testament to a city eternally reimagining itself Vera’s story brings to life legendary characters tenor Enrico Caruso indicted Mayor Eugene Schmitz and boss Abe Ruef tabloid celebrity and fabled doyenne Alma Spreckels as well as an unforgettable cast that. Identity Politics Inside Out youth and a testament to a city eternally reimagining itself Vera’s story brings to life legendary characters tenor Enrico Caruso indicted Mayor Eugene Schmitz and boss Abe Ruef tabloid celebrity and fabled doyenne Alma Spreckels as well as an unforgettable cast that.

3 thoughts on “Vera by Carol Edgarian

  1. says:

    Finished Do You Know the Way to San Francisco? Review to follow going walking first before it reaches 103% today I enjoyed Carol Edgarian's novel Three Stages of Amazement read it in 2011only sorry I've never met this wonderful SFBay area authorUPDATE REVIEWI’m a SFBay area fanatichaving lived in almost every major cityeast Bay North Bay and South Bay I worked on California St in SF near Chinatown for three yearsI’ve family in Pacific Heights friends in Nob Hill Haight district etc San Francisco is a ‘one of a kind’ city colorful streets the Golden Gate Bridge Historical Victorians Great museums street fairs great food sourdough bread small dive restaurants with great tasting food to fancy Michelin starred restaurants theater awesome book stores free outdoor music events fog hills views mild temperatures The Pier Chinatown Alcatraz Island The Ferry Building Cable cars Golden Gate Park The Sea Lions at Pier 39 The Presidio Fishermans wharf diverse neighborhoods Dog friendly Ghirardelli chocolate Wealthy middle class poor and homeless residents extravagant gay men larger than life characters The Bay to Breakers race The Gay Pride parade the famous Buena Vista Cafe serving up Irish Coffees nearby Muir Woods Sausalito and even Goodreads in the heart of the cityA fantastic walking city where many of my favorite authors live John Steinbeck said“Once I knew the city very well spent my attic days there while others were being a lost generation in Paris I fledged in San Francisco climbed it’s hills slept in its parks worked on it docks marched and shouted in its revoltsIt had been kind to me in the days of my poverty and it did not resent my temporary solvency” Carol Edgarian lives in San Francisco When she writes about San Francisconot only does she write about the exhilarating city but its the way of lifethe culture of the day and contextual insights into its urban life The streets of San Francisco come alive Her descriptions are vibrantly imaginedand illuminated by warmth and delicacy of her proseCarol takes us to the streets back in time before during and after the 1906 earthuake Wednesday April 18th 1906 We meet colorful liars corrupt politicians thieves con artists legendary historical characters a memorable supporting castand the resilient heroine VERA JOHNSONWhen we first meet Vera it’s her 15th birthday1906 Nine days after her birthday the world that Vera knew would be gone Vera’s birth mother Rose was a grande dame of the Barbary Coast a red light district during the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries in San Francisco— which featured dance halls concert saloons bars jazz clubs variety shows and brothels Rose was the notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s ritziest bordello She was also an ally to the cities correct politicians Rose didn’t raise Vera but Vera always wished to be with Rose Rose paid for a parrot that Vera desperately wanted for her 10th birthday Ricky was his name Too cute funny bird I’m a bird lover tooso I enjoyed many of the selective tidbit side dishes in this storyOur hearts for Vera grow and grow — from her early childhood days into her adult days Vera makes us laugh charms us not a vindictive bone in her body but we ache for her too Her uiet almost hidden loneliness and unfulfilled desires are always there And that’s the way that goes 🙁Nobody knew that Rose had a daughter Rose paid Morie Johnson a Swedish widow to take care of Verabut often Morie kept most of the money for herself Vera says “I suppose I gave Morie hundreds of reasons to hit me my skirt was soiled my tongue to lose I reminded her of her last pride” Morie raised two girls Vera 15 and Pie 18 Vera says about Pie “We were sisters by arrangement not blood and though Pie was superior in most ways I was boss and that’s how we’d go” The girls had a noble hearted Rottweiler mix Rogue Readers will love this dog I sure did Vera Pie and Morie lived close to the canneries and piers not a fancy house or block working class Alma de Bretteville Spreckels historical legendary socialite and philanthropist and beauty Big Alma lived on their street but was famous all over town Men were so taken with her they used her face as the model for Victoria a goddess of victory on the bronze statue at stir top Union Suare We meet neighbors city officials cooks drivers community members celebrities thievesordinary folks and the adorable animalsMayor Eugene Schmitz the sheriff and every member of the city’s Board of Supervisors were corrupt grafters—and nobody seemed to careA Mexican prostitute could be bought for 25 cents A French whore could be bought for a dollarTenor Enrico Caruso Italian Opera singerBoss Abe Ruef a lawyer and politician who was corruptBobby Vera’s lover protector of the cities tribe of orphans three generations of a Chinese family competing and conspiring with Vera The day of the uake”I can say with certainty that on Wednesday April 18 1906 we ate roast beef and apricot jam” ”The San Francisco Gas and Electric’s silo chimney split in two”People were on Nob Hill fighting to keep the Fairmont from burning Photographers were taking photos soldiers were setting up rows of army issued tents fire blazes jumped wide boulevards Van Ness Avenue and was gobbling Pacific Heights Sparks hopped from roof to roof owners of mansions were given just 45 minutes to clear out before the horn sounded and their houses exploded with their art and valuables inside My final words thoughts and feelings With as much detail as I tried to includethere really are no spoilers I stayed away from sharing the emotions and depths that must be experiencedfrom each reader Specifics of what happens to our characters directly in relationship to the 1906 earthuake I’ve kept to myself Readers really need to experience this history the imagined storytelling themselves I can tell you I got really teary and sad in one part towards the endAnd of course when I was reading about the city’s devastating catastrophe those vivid descriptions of the earthuake the shocking sudden emergenceI thought about COVID 19As Vera said “How uickly we’d adapted to a shaking world as if it had always been this way when it was coming on— like a stomach flu the roiling that wouldn’t stop until you were sick sick and tired— you braced with your knees and grabbed onto something solid while glancing overhead to see what might fall” This book grounded me It’s hugely dazzling and compassionate

  2. says:

    Vera Johnson has lived a long long life and in all of her years none have proved to be as momentous as exciting as devastating as 1906 the year San Francisco was nearly leveled by an epic earthuake In 1906 Vera was 15 a bastard child of SF’s most popular madam given to and paid for a Swedish single mother to raise alongside her own child Vera has a scant relationship with her birthmother a potently ambitious well connected woman who for all her admirable ualities doesn’t have a maternal bone in her body Until the earthuake rips through the city permanently altering all preexisting arrangements and Vera and her nonbiological sister Pie find themselves taking possession of a fancy mansion she never got to grow up in her birthright But the girls are not alone they are antagonized and cared for in eual measures by her mother’s former employee Tan and his family just as the position of Chinese people in the city gets suddenly uite precarious There’s a love interest that slowly makes his way into the picture There are all the terrific variegated players who slowly come to populate the place And then there are real life characters cleverly integrated into the fabric of the plot from politicians to socialites All set against the backdrop of the city ravaged by nature and yet poised to make yet another comeback to live up to its flag to rise from the ashes There are great many things this novel gets right the first and foremost of them being creating a genuinely excellent young protagonist in adult fiction It isn’t often than a 15 year old can carry a story with such aplomb It’s a bildungsroman in a way of course 1906 shapes Vera into a person of steel will and drive she becomes albeit possibly stealing away too much softness through teaching some lessons too early and too brutally Secondly there are some terrific descriptions of the city I’ve recently armchair traveled to SF but a present day version This was a time machine armchair trip which is almost as good as hot tub time machine and by some accounts so especially in the summer The writing is good the characters are enjoyable it’s sad without being depressing Not sure why I didn’t love it though I definitely liked it a lot A transporting sort of entertainment Great for fans of historical fiction Recommended Thanks Netgalley

  3. says:

    This was an interesting and sometimes heartbreaking read Vera is scrappy and resilient ualities I admire in a female character I would have liked to see glimpses into her future than what we gotThis was somewhere between 35 and four stars for me as sometimes I wanted it to move along a bit uickerKindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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