Vera: A Novel Epub ✓ Vera: A eBook ë

Vera: A Novel Epub ✓ Vera: A  eBook ë
    Vera: A Novel Epub ✓ Vera: A eBook ë 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 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 comingofage adventure investigates the nature of sex, power, and the fortitude required 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 quest for love and reinvention in the aftermath of catastrophe."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • Vera: A Novel
  • Carol Edgarian
  • 06 January 2019
  • 9781501157523

Vera: A Novel❰PDF / Epub❯ ☂ Vera: A Novel Author Carol Edgarian – Essayreview.co.uk A sweeping and richly captivating novel about an indomitable heroine coming of age in the aftermath of catastrophe, and her quest for love and reinvention—from the acclaimed New York Times bestselli A sweeping and richly captivating novel about an indomitable heroine coming of age in the aftermath of catastrophe, and her quest for love and reinvention—from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Three Stages of Amazement Scrappy fifteenyearold Vera Johnson—illegitimate daughter of Rose, Vera: A eBook ë the notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s ritziest bordello and ally to the city’s corrupt politicians—narrowly survives the devastatingearthquake 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 compassionate world where notions of honor, survival, and love are tested, and grace is hardwon 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 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 comingofage adventure investigates the nature of sex, power, and the fortitude required 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 quest for love and reinvention in the aftermath of catastrophe.


About the Author: Carol Edgarian

NarrativeMagazine, the leading digital source for storytelling—publishing than three hundred artists each year— and Narrative in the Schools, a program to encourage reading and writing in schools across America Edgarian lives in San Francisco with her husband and their three daughters.


11 thoughts on “Vera: A Novel

  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 2011) ....only sorry I've never met this wonderful SFBay area author!

    UPDATE: REVIEW

    I’m a SFBay area fanatic....having lived in almost every major city...east Bay, North Bay, and South Bay. I worked on California St. - in S.F. near Chinatown for three years.
    I’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 city).

    A 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 revolts...It 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 Francisco...not only does she write about the exhilarating city - but its the way of life......the culture of the day, and contextual insights into its urban life.
    The streets of San Francisco come alive. Her descriptions are vibrantly imagined....and illuminated by warmth and delicacy of her prose.

    Carol takes us to the streets - back in time - before, during, and after the 1906 earthquake:
    Wednesday, April 18th, 1906.

    We meet colorful liars, corrupt politicians, thieves, con artists, legendary historical characters, a memorable supporting cast...
    and the resilient heroine: VERA JOHNSON.

    When we first meet Vera, it’s her 15th birthday....1906.
    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 too)...so I enjoyed many of the selective tidbit side dishes in this story.

    Our 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 quiet ( 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 Vera.....but 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 Square.

    We meet neighbors, city officials, cooks, drivers, community members, celebrities, thieves....ordinary folks, and ( the adorable animals)
    ...Mayor Eugene Schmitz, the sheriff and every member of the city’s Board of Supervisors were corrupt grafters—and nobody seemed to care.
    ....A Mexican prostitute could be bought for 25 cents. A French whore could be bought for a dollar.
    ....Tenor Enrico Caruso: Italian Opera singer,
    ....Boss Abe Ruef: a lawyer and politician who was corrupt.
    ....Bobby: 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 quake:
    ...”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 include....there really are no spoilers.
    I stayed away from sharing the emotions and depths that must be experienced.....from each reader.
    Specifics of what happens to our characters - directly in relationship to the 1906 earthquake- 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 end....
    And of course when I was reading about the city’s devastating catastrophe - those vivid descriptions of the earthquake - the shocking sudden emergence....I thought about COVID-19....
    As Vera said:
    “How quickly 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 earthquake. 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 qualities doesn’t have a maternal bone in her body. Until the earthquake 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 equal measures by her mother’s former employee Tan and his family, just as the position of Chinese people in the city gets suddenly quite 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 more 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, qualities I admire in a female character. I would have liked to see more glimpses into her future than what we got.

    This was somewhere between 3.5 and four stars for me, as sometimes I wanted it to move along a bit quicker.

    Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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