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City of Light

by Belfer, Lauren

  • ISBN: 9780385334013
  • ISBN10: 038533401X

City of Light

by Belfer, Lauren

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Dial Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2009
  • ISBN: 9780385334013
  • ISBN10: 038533401X
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Description: With the publication of "City of Light", Lauren Belfer was embraced by critics and readers alike. Called "an ingenious first novel" by The New York Times Book Review, "breathtaking in its achievement" by USA Today, "thrilled-packed", by US, and "masterful" by The San Francisco Chronicle, "City of Light" became one of 1999's most beloved works of fiction.

It is 1901 -- the turn of the century -- and Buffalo, New York stands at the center of the nation's attention. It is truly a City of Light: the massive Niagara Power Station prepares to bring electricity to this country for the first time, the Pan American Exhibition draws a crowd of notables from far and wide, and the city's elite sit poised to decide the nation's future. Within this rich historical backdrop lives Louisa Barrett, the unmarried headmistress of the Macaulay School for girls -- a clever, daring young woman tied to Buffalo by a dark secret involving a former president of the United States. Louisa is an anomaly for her time and place -- a professional woman who enjoys a degree of independence because she is protected by the powerful all-male board of her exclusive girls school. Among the closest of Louisa's circle are her goddaughter Grace Sinclair, a ten year old girl reeling from the recent death of her mother (and Louisa's best friend), and Grace's father Tom, an Irish rags-to-riches industrialist and Director of the Niagara Power Station. But when the chief engineer of the plant dies under mysterious circumstances, Loiusa's loyalty to and belief in Tom is thrown into doubt. When the second engineer meets death under equally mysterious circumstances, she realizes that those involved with the business of electricity --from each of the wealthy industrialists on her school board (all of whom have invested in the power plant), to Tom Sinclair himself -- are not all they seem.

Loiusa Barrett is our guide through the excitement and dangers of this time and place where immigrant factory workers and nature conservationists protest violently against industrialists, where influential African-Americans fight for recognition and equality, and where women struggle to thrive in a system which allows them little freedom. Added to this web of tensions (as understandable in our time as in Louisa's), are the chilling threats of harm toward Tom Sinclair, Louisa herself, and even little Grace.

"City of Light" is a novel of remarkable largesse, scope, drama, and intelligence. Author Lauren Belfer brilliantly recreates the life of a city's cultures, classes, and conflicts as well as the famous historical figures so vital in turn of the century America. Wrought with personal and political intrigue, "City of Light" is a novel completely of its own time and of ours as well.

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