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Becoming Lola by [Steel, Harriet]
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Becoming Lola Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Length: 310 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

About the Author

I'm married with grown-up daughters and live in Surrey, England. Although it's close to London, Surrey's a beautiful, remarkably rural county with lots of quaint old villages and lovely walks. I try to do as many of those as possible to counteract the effects of sitting around writing for the rest of the time! I love to hear from readers and you can find me on Facebook or Twitter - @harrietsteel1. Please do visit my blog too - http://harrietsteel.blogspot.co.uk/ for articles, interviews and more.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 947 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0062LPBDC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #301,974 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a fascinating life this lady led. Love her or hate her, and there was so much to dislike about this fiery, fearless, selfish woman. However, with the depth of knowledge Harriet Steel brings to this novel, you realise it was little wonder that Eliza created the great Lola Montenz.

From a childhood in India cosseted by her father and servants, she was at best ignored by her mother and at worst openly despised by her. On the death of her father her mother quickly remarries and thankfully her stepfather seems to have affection for her. However, he submits to his wife when she insists on sending Eliza away to be educated and they agree on his family in Scotland.

Imagine how she must have felt being sent away by her mother to sail across the sea with Mrs Innes a lady she didn't even know, into London and then straight onto Scotland. What an adjustment Eliza would have had to make from the sweltering heat and spicy food of India to the cold solitude of Montrose. Then to be recalled years later by her mother who has arranged marriage for her, to an old man, albeit it a wealthy gentleman, she has never met. Young and naïve, Eliza runs away with Thomas James, a `charming' family friend who promises to look after her. Of course she's seduced, leading to their marriage, but all is not well and she eventually leaves him; leading Eliza on a path of one lover after another and her eventual emergence as Lola.

Her love affair with Dujarier is heart-breaking. Her love affair with King Ludwig I of Bavaria makes her many enemies but in her single minded view of the world if people are not her friends, then they must take the consequences of being her enemies.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Beautifully researched with detailed descriptions of that era, the author takes us on a tour de force into the life of Lola Montez (née Eliza Gilbert), who was very prominent and famous in her time, and who seems to have slipped out of history.

The reader immediately becomes mesmerized by the events, adventures and character of the main protagonist in her riveting story. Wonderfully written and very interesting, Ms. Steel's book is historical, informative and resurrects an amazing woman of history.

Highly recommended!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a cracking subject: there's no other way to put it. Whether you like this novel or not, you'll be richer for Steel bringing Lola to your attention. The story of not quite rags to riches but put-upon officer's daughter to riches is captivating and takes your from India to London to Paris and Seville and Baveria - how great is that?

This is a Becky Sharp who climbs the ladder wrong by wrong to get what she wants: money and respectability. Get past chapter one ( see later) and the first few chapters of the story are gripping; I couldn't put it down which is rare in many books these days where authors have lost the knack of pace - because so few publishers' editors seem to be active critics and give us the same old authors with second-rate books.

Only...and you'll have to place this in context...the last half was a struggle and not a page turner in a good way. This is a book of two halves.

This is a self-published book and the standard of presentation and writing in terms of description is easily as good as a published novel, indeed, better, and that's without all the submissions committees and editors. But one can see why a publisher might not pick it up - it does need a bit of a look at in terms of character and pace. The second half loses interest and begins to meander because the character essentially stays the same. Lola isn't made into a Becky Sharp but comes over as either nice or not hard enough - and so we aren't as breathless for the next chapter as we really were in the first half.

And can somebody go to Spain for a month or two and come back as a Spaniard?

So, a reader wants a book to be value and enjoyable. This book was worth every penny and I'm richer for reading it - and we ought to support self-published authors in a market where published authors have books out that aren't nearly as enjoyable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a story and what a ride! In the days when women kept in the background, Lola Montez stormed her way through life and through Europe and beyond. She was fearless, vivacious and determined.

Her early life was spent mostly in the company of her Ayah and her doting father. Her mother was a cold and distant woman who wasted no love on her daughter. After her father died, her mother arranged a marriage for Eliza (Lola's original name) to an old man of wealth. This was the trigger for Eliza to revolt and go her own inimitable way. With each escapade she becomes bolder and more determined to live life by her own rules. People either hated or loved her. She made many enemies but never allowed that to stand in her way.

Other reviewers have said more about the story so I won't add anything here. All I want to say is that it is written in a lively, colourful and absorbing way. It is a remarkable story about a character in history that you can't help admiring but there is pathos behind Lola's driven nature too.
Read it and enjoy a wonderful ride through the layers of a mesmerising story.
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