Frog Music Hardcover – 27 Mar 2014
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Time and again, Emma Donoghue writes books that are unlike anything I have ever seen before. (Ann Patchett)
Frog Music is a roiling, simmering brew of a novel: dramatic, unexpected (Spectator)
This is another smart and finely wrought consideration of parenthood, further proof of Donoghue's significant skill as an author (Alex Preston Observer)
Emma Donoghue is one of the great literary ventriloquists of our time. Her imagination is kaleidoscopic. She steps borders and boundaries with great ease and style. In her hands the centuries dissolve, and then they crystallize back again into powerful words on the page. (Colum McCann)
Emma Donoghue follows her bestseller Room with Frog Music. Set during a smallpox epidemic in San Francisco in 1876 and based on a true story, a burlesque dancer sets out to bring her friend's murderer to justice. (Hot Books of 2014 Daily Express)
The novel is brilliant as historical fiction and crime thriller... it succeeds best when showing the everyday things that don't change with time (Independent on Sunday)
Donoghue flawlessly combines literary eloquence and vigorous plotting in her first full-fledged mystery, a work as original and multifaceted as its young murder victim . . . In language spiced with musical interludes and raunchy French slang, Donoghue brings to teeming life the nasty, naughty side of this ethnically diverse metropolis . . . Most of her seedy, damaged characters really lived, and she not only posits a clever solution to a historical crime that was never adequately solved but also crafts . . . an engrossing and suspenseful tale about moral growth, unlikely friendship, and breaking free from the past. (Booklist)
Lively, entertaining and well-written (Evening Standard)
More fine work from one of popular fiction's most talented practitioners . . . Donoghue's vivid rendering of Gilded Age San Francisco is notable for her atmospheric use of popular songs and slang in Blanche's native French, but the book's emotional punch comes from its portrait of a woman growing into self-respect as she takes responsibility for the infant life she's created. (Kirkus Reviews)
Swift and absorbing (Vogue)
Frog Music is a wonderfully evocative novel of intrigue and murder. From Emma Donoghue, author of the million-copy bestseller Room, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes.See all Product description
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The character of the main protagonist Blanche is well portrayed as are her fascinating sexual exploits (quite erotic stuff!), but ultimately its hard to sympathise with her because well she's not too smart is she? The best advice she gets towards the end of the book form the Madame of the House of Mirrors and she ignores it!
Its clear from the afterward that the historical background to the events described has been meticulously researched - these people are real people! However possibly historical verisimilitude has been a bit too restrictive to the Author as has the constant introduction of contemporary songs and lyrics - Ms Donoghue clearly loves all this detail but it can at times rather smother the plot!
BUT a really courageous piece of work and I shall look out for the next one.
I can't say I really enjoyed it (found it rather depressing) but it is certainly worth a read