- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (July 7, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425227782
- ISBN-13: 978-0425227787
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,452,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Belly Dancer Paperback – July 7, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
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From Publishers Weekly
While Cameron depicts with accuracy and sympathy the very real plight of women in 19th century America, uneven pacing and character development weaken this debut. When the World's Fair arrives in Chicago in 1893, women are sexually repressed and strictly ruled by their husbands. Newlywed Dora Chambers goes to great lengths to keep her banker husband, Charles, happy, even ingratiating herself with a dreadful group of snotty socialites who oversee the decorum of the fair's more exotic exhibits, like the popular Egyptian belly dancing attraction. Dora is given the task of toning down the Egyptian dancers' act, strikes up a friendship with the troupe, and together they appease the outraged female population by modifying their dance and adding scarves to disguise their curves. Dora's husband, impatient with her virginal fear of the marriage bed, quickly resumes relations with his powerful and rich mistress, a widow who despises Dora and knows the secrets that can ruin Dora's social standing. Despite the intriguing subject and historical period, Dora's startling transformation under the tutelage of the dance troupe feels unreal, even though the story is based on fact.
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"Whew, this book has it all! ... As young women, as experienced women, as a dancer - you will love this book!" --The Chronicles magazine
"strong and vibrant" -RT BOOK Review magazine, 4 stars
"a richly woven tale of scandal [and] seduction."--Anne Thomas Soffee, author of Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love
"A great summer read" --Orange Coast magazine
"Pour yourself something to drink, pull up a comfy chair and settle in for a weekend of pleasurable reading." --The Printed Page blog
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BUT, I am glad I stuck with this. Dora's desire to attract her husband back to her leads her to the Chicago World's Fair (where she is already working as a Lady Manager) to the Egyptian Theater and its belly dancers. It is here that Dora makes friends, learns the ways of love, and begins to dance. Dora, having been shunned by society all her life, finally finds solace with a group of people that have been shunned themselves.
Will Dora use her newfound sexual charms on her husband, Charles? Or will she choose to use them on the myterious Arab man she is secretly attracted to?
Meanwhile, Dora has made an enemy of one of society's richest matrons. There may be some stuff hitting the fan.
Had Dora been just a bit less naive and blind in the first half, this would have hit the five star mark. It certainly redeemed itself with a great ending.
Loved It! Can't wait for her next book!