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The Gods of Newport Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
True love confronts Gilded Age class hierarchy in Jakes's latest engaging historical potboiler. Railroad tycoon Sam Driver sets out to conquer the summer resort of Newport, R.I., at the 1890s pinnacle of its glamour—and snootiness—in order to avenge its snubbing of his dead wife and find a prestigious match for his daughter, Jenny. It's a world ruled by New York socialites, where the slightest blemish of background or breach of protocol triggers ostracism. Sam struggles to conform while fending off the efforts of an old rival to exclude him, but Jenny throws a monkey wrench into things by falling in love with a handsome, lower-class Irishman. Jakes serves up a melodrama—and satire—of the tyranny of social convention with a girl-power ending. It doesn't always ring true, especially when Sam pressures Jenny to marry the obviously villainous Count Orlov, and action set pieces like a tennis match and a carriage race are less than gripping. But Jakes is a fluent storyteller, and his meticulous reconstruction of fin-de-siècle excess will have fans savoring the lavish details of jewelry, fashion, food and follies. (Nov. 7)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The prolific Jakes scores with a lush new historical saga set on the glamorous, windswept shores of late-nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, the summer playground of the fabulously wealthy. Newport society is ruled by a small but powerful clique of old-money social arbiters. When railroad mogul and former robber baron Sam Driver arrives in Newport in 1893, he is determined to break into the elite inner circle that has tantalized him for the past few decades. Sam's social ambitions also involve his breathtakingly beautiful daughter, Jenny. Although Sam forces Jenny into a loveless marriage with a titled scoundrel, her heart belongs to an impoverished but charming young Irishman. Despite the fact that the recycled plot is a bit worn around the edges, Jakes displays his characteristic flair for class melodrama when he parallels the world of the rich and careless with the world of the hardscrabble underclass who work tirelessly to enable their "social betters" to indulge in their summer idylls. He has fashioned yet another breezy, easy-to-read piece of historical fiction, sure to please his many fans. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I usually give one star if I can't finish the book, but John Jakes isn't a one-star writer.