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Whorticulture [Kindle Edition]

Marie-Anne Mancio , Michala Seilman Tønsberg , Robert Allmand
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

As a girl waits for the return of her disappeared father, the story of four migrant women unravels. In antebellum America: a daydreamer from the country gets an unexpected education on the Mississippi river; a storekeeper falls in love with a thief amid the chaos of Gold Rush San Francisco; a fugitive quadroon re-invents herself in a New York brothel; and a young bride is trapped on a Louisiana sugar plantation. Though they do not know it, their lives are inextricably linked by the men they encounter. Peopled by whores, tricksters, gamblers, do-gooders, liars, and fools, and with allusions to the coded language of flowers, Whorticulture is about prostitution in its myriad forms. Contains a helpful discussion guide for book groups and a flower dictionary.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 275 KB
  • Print Length: 135 pages
  • Publisher: Hotel Alphabet; 1 edition (21 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007WIXSK2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #405,759 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Marie-Anne Mancio trained as an artist and now also lectures in art history. Coming from a family with a history of migration, she's fascinated by how geography affects identity. She's particularly interested in women's histories and in using historical fiction to illuminate the present.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and enjoyable 19 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very well written and enjoyable novel. I was able to identify with the emotions and feelings of the various characters. The narrative was well constructed and I liked the way the various themes were linked. Definitely look forward to more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read: questions and puzzles 22 Jun 2012
By Kelli
Format:Kindle Edition
I took a bit of a risk requesting this book - it was part of the Early Reviewer's program - but the description intrigued me as it did not really seem to be about whores. It does push and question the fine line between being a respectable women (or not) in antebellum USA.

Specifically, during that time but also in a more general sense, this book explores different arrangements women have made with men to survive, find protection, or break away. Some of these involve marriage - can a woman be a whore when she only has relations with her husband? Other stories involve women in brothels in various occupations, or women looking for husbands. The common thread among the stories are the men, who have more mobility and choices than many of the women - however, these are not dainty damsels waiting to be rescued.

I really enjoyed some of the questions that were raised. I think this book could also be used as an additional book for college classes in the history of women, the social evolution of women, or other similar topics.

But I also enjoyed the stories in and of themselves. An explanation of the author's intention was at the end of the book, which could be a problem for those who read e-books. Overall, I liked the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly beautiful 21 Jun 2012
By Britt
Format:Kindle Edition
Really loved this book! A surprise, I must admit; I was a bit hesitant since it's, well, about whores, and I was a bit scared it might turn into cheap porn, but it was nothing like that.
The book tells the stories of four women, who all find themselves in situations they weren't prepared for, and have to make difficult choices. Not all of them are actually whores, but two have unconventional relationships, one is indeed a whore, and the fourth is a different story altogether... All women are connected through the men they are with.
It's well written, and I really got drawn into the stories. The stories give you something to think about, and give a diverse view of life in the times of slavery and the gold rush.

Though one of the things that the 'whores' say is that all men are bad, one thing I found is that it's not that simple. Though the men in the book do have their bad sides, it also shows that they aren't only bad, they also have good sides. And the same counts for the women: though these women might generally be thought to be 'bad' women, they all had difficult choices to make, and all have good sides as well as bad sides...

All in all a very enjoyable read; am looking forward to hearing more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jerome rocks! 30 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Thought this was going to be a woman's book but it's not! Gave an interesting and unusual account of nineteenth century America and the writing's creative. Loved the Gold Rush bit, especially the Jerome character. Could easily be made into a film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful book! 27 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Whorticulture is an elegant novel by Marie-Anne Mancio. Each of the four stories that interweave to create a gripping account of women’s lives in the period before the US Civil War are dripping with intimate stories of love, desire, sex (these three things hardly ever coalesce) and how the drive for autonomy over their lives led the heroines to choose certain pathways, and how the lack of autonomy resigned them to others.

Mancio writes with intimate and tender detail as her characters reveal their inner selves on the page “When did this happen? Today, I am aware of everything, of the drowsy humming of summer bees in the garden, of limes balancing on a table, of his silvery hair in the afternoon sun. The ice in my lemonade makes my teeth ache. I am supposed to be sketching in my journal, but all I can do is write his name over and over: Meredith Chandler, Meredith Chandler. For months, I have been collecting pieces of information about him. He dislikes fools so he has few friends; his favorite color is mulberry.”

Each of the four stories follows a different woman through significant, passionate or traumatic events in their lives, as they end up in brothels, or as mistresses, fleeing tragedy, or in unhappy marriages. There is a lovely device to connect all four stories together in a unique and original way.

What I most enjoyed was the way Mancio brings the period alive by creating compelling images based on comprehensive research so not a detail feels out of place or awkward.
“I listen open-mouthed to the gentleman who asks Blonde Peggy to drink from a bottle of claret then to pee into a crystal goblet so he can drink it; to the salesman who longs to flog Ebony Lou till she bleeds; to the silversmith who gets excited stroking Denver Kathleen’s shoes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and Beatifully Written 14 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well researched and some passges so beautifully written that you want to read them twice. Cleverly constructed and informative as well!
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Format:Kindle Edition
When I looked at the table of contents and saw "Appendix I: Floriography" and "Appendix II: Book Group Reading Guide," I was filled with joy. So full admission :D I glanced at a few reviews while I was checking "how many pages" because I needed to finish reading this book in a timely fashion; I laughed at a "too short" I saw and at "collection of short stories." I danced in the little connections between one story and another; they were connected into one story of "woman and her experiences." Too often in "women's lit" I find that "women's experiences" are limited to white, middle to upper class women who've always lived that life; Ms. Muncio broke that mold and made her own. The richness of the diversity of the women's experiences in this book were exciting to behold.

I was given a free copy of this book for a fair and honest review
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars ENTERTAINING
This book was not a book at all, but four short stories set in early American times. Although I am not a lover of historical fiction, I found these stories to be entertaining. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Robin P. Waldrop
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique
The author provided a copy for my honest opinion.

Whorticulture gives us a glimpse into the lives of four women in nineteenth century America. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Miki
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
This is an absorbing, beautifully written book. The author has taken care over every sentence. It's an intelligent read and a great story. We need more books like this! Read more
Published 22 months ago by sunnyday
5.0 out of 5 stars Women Overstepping their Boundaries
We approach what appear to be a series of short stories, but they have a connected theme. Each story is told in first person by a woman in antebellum America. Read more
Published 24 months ago by gloria piper
4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite,vivid language and beautiful imagery
This book comprises four short stories concerning young women in C19th America, linked by their dependence on the men in their lives. Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2012 by Ali Isaac
5.0 out of 5 stars An intricate, colourful and multi layered tapestry
What an intricate, colourful and multi layered tapestry Marie-Anne Mancio weaves in this extraordinary book. Read more
Published on 2 Nov 2012 by Kerry Dwyer
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Unique Books I've Read in Ages
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. This consideration has no bearing upon my review in any way.

I was at once intrigued by the title. Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2012 by Rebecca Vance
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive novel
The stories of these women, connected by the men they know, give a fascinating insight into the options women had, or rather didn't have, in antebellum America. Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2012 by Jay Howard
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