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Awake Unto Me [Kindle Edition]

Kathleen Knowles
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.96 (41%)

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Book Description

In turn of the century San Francisco, two young women fight for love in a world where women are often invisible and passion is the privilege of the powerful.

Kerry O’Shea always handled what life threw at her. Growing up on San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, schooled in the streets by her con-man father, she fights to make a place for herself as a cook in the Palace Hotel. Escaping her roots made her plenty tough, but when she meets Beth Hammond, none of her street smarts matters. It's love at first sight, but how can such a love ever be possible?

Beth Hammond is every bit as strong as Kerry and proves it when she talks her domineering father into allowing her to study nursing. Drawn to Kerry in ways she doesn't understand, Beth fears the terrible secret she hides could destroy their relationship before it can even begin.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kathleen Knowles grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has lived in San Francisco for more than thirty years. She finds the city’s combination of history, natural beauty, and multicultural diversity inspiring and endlessly fascinating.

Other than writing, she loves music of all kinds, walking, bicycling, and stamp collecting. LGBT history and politics have commanded her attention for many years, starting with her first Pride march in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1978. She and her partner were married in July, 2008, and live atop one of San Francisco’s many hills with their three pets. She works as a health and safety specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.

She has written short stories, essays, and fan fiction. Awake Unto Me is her first published work.

Product Details

  • File Size: 685 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007QP7BUE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,325 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awake Unto Me March 21, 2012
It's almost the turn of the century in San Francisco when Kerry O'Shea and Beth Hammond meet. Kerry's a wharf rat - the daughter of a whore and a con man - who helps her father crimp sailors. Beth is the daughter of shopkeepers who think she should be seen and not heard. Kerry moves in with Dr. Addison Grant and his wife Laura after her father dies because Dr. Grant made her father a promise years before. Beth leaves home to become a nurse after she sees the power they can wield. Kerry and Beth meet at a party thrown by the Grants for the graduating nursing students. For Kerry, it's love at first sight and Beth feels she may have made a friend for life. Life's events bring them closer together and farther apart over and over, but can they make it work together?

Awake Unto Me is a beautiful story of unexpected love triumphing over adversity and tragedy. I loved Kerry and her no-nonsense attitude and ability to stand up for herself. Growing up on the Barbary Coast she had to learn independence and strength from the earliest age. Her "family" was colorful, garish, and helped school her in the grittiness of real life. Beth's family, on the other hand, was stodgy, old-fashioned, and insular. Even though they had opposite upbringings, the feelings they share for each other are identical. Addison Grant was very supportive in a hands-off kind of way, but his wife Laura was a scheming brat. I seriously did not like her at all. Ms. Knowles has obviously and thoroughly researched life in San Francisco in the 1800/1900's. Exceptional writing and excellent characters fill Awake Unto Me with true emotion.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut book February 9, 2012
By Telstar
Kerry O'Shea's mother died when she was born. Kerry grew up on the Barbary Coast of San Francisco, living her young life among prostitutes at the Grey Dog saloon. Kerry's father, Jack does his best to do right by her, but he's a con man and a gambler and doesn't set the best example for a young girl.

After Jack dies, Kerry goes to live with Dr Addison Grant, an acquaintance of her father's, and his prim and proper wife, Laura. Kerry is determined to make a better life for herself. She begins work at the Palace Hotel as a dishwasher. After a great battle of wits, she works her way up to become a cook.

Beth Hammond's life hasn't been easy. She grew up with unsupportive parents, her father was a domineering man, and seemed to think Beth should work all hours in his store. All Beth can think about is escaping and studying nursing. Which eventually she is able to do.

Kerry and Beth first meet at the home of Addison and Laura. For Kerry, it is love at first sight. But Kerry has known for years she prefers women. What will Kerry do? Will Kerry trust that Beth won't run away if she tells her how she feels? Beth, although she has strong feelings for Kerry, has no idea why or what it means. Beth is also hiding a dark secret, which if she divulges, could lose her Kerry's friendship forever. What will Beth do? Will Beth trust Kerry?

This is a wonderfully well written debut book. It doesn't read like a debut book. Now and then I read a debut book and it is so good, I find it hard to believe the author hasn't published before. This is one of those books.

The book is set in San Francisco and the story begins in 1880. It is quite obvious that Kathleen Knowles has done extensive research into the history of turn of the century San Francisco, for this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Charmer, What a Stunning Debut! November 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a charmer! This debut novel is a genuine stunner that takes you back in time when love between any two people was difficult at best---but between two women it was nearly impossible! Knowles draws you in and doesn't let go through the full and fascinating development of her main characters, a credible plotline and a San Francisco atmospheric triumph! This is a page turner because the main characters are so endearing, so real and yet so fresh and natural--you really WANT them to be happy. As a writer of an historical novel myself (also set partially in San Francisco at about the same time in history (1890s), I can tell you that Knowles completely nails it with her historical realism. She captures The Palace Hotel, Golden Gate Park, The Barbary Coast, the Sutro Baths and the ordinary neighborhoods and streets of this turn-of-the century city by the Bay with stunning, exhilarating accuracy. It was a treat to see another writer's obvious love and caring about the historical times that formed the matrix of her story.

Do yourself a favor---get this book for Christmas, and while you're at it, buy a couple more for friends because be they Gay or Straight, they are going to enjoy this especially sweet and loving narrative about a subject that has melted hearts since time immemorial: True love.

Bravo Kathleen Knowles, bravo!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great December 13, 2012
By Sandra
This historical novel takes place in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century. Kerry O'Shea, the daughter of a prostitute and a con man, falls in love with Beth Hammond, the daughter of a storeowner who's studying to become a nurse.

A good, but not great historical novel. One of the characters is going through sexual abuse at the hands of an authority figure.

The novel has a few editing issues (some head hopping, overuse of adverbs, commas missing, etc.), but it's entertaining and provides some well-researched and well-written historical details.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars :/
No. I guess the sexy scenes are pretty good but...just no.
Published 8 months ago by Bre'
5.0 out of 5 stars A true gem
This story had an interesting feel to it. The first thing I liked was the time frame. It was set in the early 20th century and tells the story of two women, Kerry and Beth, who... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Lynn Lawler
4.0 out of 5 stars Awake Unto Me
A very interesting story of love and coming to understanding between two women in the late 19th early 20th century. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Larry
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful look inside
Awake Unto Me is a wonderful view of the thoughts and feelings of two young women in the late 1800s San Francisco discovering that they are different, then that they have strong... Read more
Published on June 23, 2012 by Claude W. Cain III, PhD
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
Kudos to Kathleen Knowles on a great first novel. While I live on the East Coast, San Francisco is my favorite city. Read more
Published on May 29, 2012 by T. Morrow
2.0 out of 5 stars Irresponsible portrayal of sexual awakening
I read many books and I can often overlook flaws in writing style and the like if the story is good and the plot well thought out. Read more
Published on March 16, 2012 by K. Foster
4.0 out of 5 stars turn of the century butch/femme courtship
This is a very well-written historical drama/romance set in San Francisco that does a fabulous job at developing the psychological histories of our two main characters (considering... Read more
Published on January 23, 2012 by M.T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great San Francisco setting
This is a fantastic novel from start to finish. The author weaves a complex tale of psychological and lesbian themes all with the backdrop of historical San Francisco. Read more
Published on January 19, 2012 by Marti
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