CITY OF ASH by Megan Chance

PUB. INFO: Broadway, June 2011
GENRE: Historical Fiction
SETTING: Washington, America 1888
HEROINE: Geneva ‘Ginny’ Langley
NARRATION: First person
GRADE: B+

FROM PUBLISHER: When the great Seattle fire of 1889 leaves them with nothing to lose, two very different women discover a mutual passion for revenge.

Chicago socialite and art patron Geneva Langley has brought scandal to her family for the last time. Her latest and boldest act of immodesty is too much for her father to bear, and he banishes her to Seattle, along with her scheming, ambitious husband, Nathan. Seattle is a far cry from Chicago — the streets are muddy, the society backward, and Ginny feels stifled and alone.

Despite her considerable talent, Beatrice Wilkes is an actress whose dream of being a leading lady is fading rapidly. She can’t believe her luck when a new production gives her a chance at stardom, but Geneva Langley seizes the opportunity for her own and unwittingly crushes Bea’s last dream.

The two women engage in a fierce battle for center stage, but the great Seattle fire, which ravages the city, changes their fates and plans. In its aftermath, Ginny and Bea see an opportunity to change their lives: but it would mean banding together to enact a truly wicked plan. Their dark and perilous alliance will set them on the path to either redemption or damnation.

MY THOUGHTS: The heroine, 29, is in a dysfunctional marriage. She comes from wealth and her husband, Nathan, married her for it. He comes up with a plan to get his hands on even more of it. I think her father, not knowing of Nathan’s plan, helps him.

Geneva learns of the plan and devises a plan of her own. She asks Nathan’s mistress, Beatrice, to help her and help her she does. Plans change when she can’t get access to money. The new plan is silly and really farfetched, totally unbelievable and I was real disappointed in it. Despite that, I was interested in watching it all unfold.

My favorite character is the actress, Beatrice. She’s twenty-eight and has been an actress for thirteen years. Sadly, we didn’t learn anything of her background. She’s a jealous, self centered person and it was very surprising that she’d help Geneva out.

Geneva didn’t seem that interesting to me. I didn’t like that out of nowhere she wanted to become an actress. I also thought it strange that she didn’t seem too bothered by the fact her husband was cheating.

Overall, I was happy with this book but was disappointed by the plan and how it all played out during the last third of the story.

You can visit the author’s website here. Her complete booklist can be found here.

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