Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Love and Other Consolation Prizes: A Novel Hardcover – September 12, 2017
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Exciting . . . [Jamie] Ford captures the thrill of first kisses and the shock of revealing long-hidden affairs.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Strong . . . A laudable effort that shines light on little known histories.”—Library Journal
“Poignant . . . Vibrantly rendered.”—Booklist
“Combining rich narrative and literary qualities, the book achieves a multi-faceted emotional resonance. It is by turns heart-rending, tragic, disturbing, sanguine, warm, and life-affirming. Perceptive themes that run throughout culminate at the end. A true story from the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition inspired this very absorbing and moving novel. Highly recommended.”—Historical Novel Society (Editors’ choice)
“An evocative, heartfelt, beautifully crafted story that shines a light on a fascinating, tragic bit of forgotten history, this is Jamie Ford at his storytelling best.”—Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale
“In this sweeping, bighearted novel—inspired by the true story of a twelve-year-old boy raffled off as a prize at the 1909 Seattle World Fair—we encounter a cast of colorful characters, fascinating historical details, and (in typical Jamie Ford fashion) insights about morality, race, and culture that deepen and expand the story. . . . Utterly charming.”—Christina Baker Kline, author of A Piece of the World and Orphan Train
“Ford is a master at shining light into dark, forgotten corners of history and revealing the most unexpected and relatable human threads. . . . A beautiful and enthralling story of resilience and the many permutations of love.”—Jessica Shattuck, author of The Women in the Castle
“All the charm and heartbreak of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet . . . Based on a true story, Love and Other Consolation Prizes will warm your soul.”—Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls
“A gripping story about the unpredictability of life and, above all, the incredible power of love to heal even the most shameful wounds . . . Ford has created a fascinating world, bookended by Seattle’s two world’s fairs, and peopled it with colorful, brave characters we care deeply about in this masterful job of storytelling.”—Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue
“Irresistibly magnificent . . . How does a novel genius top himself? Jamie Ford’s newest takes an extraordinary moment in history, where vice lives alongside innocence, and transforms it into a dazzling, hold-your-breath story about the families we make and the ones we are thrust into, about who we are and who we dreamed we could be.”—Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World
“Soaring, heart-wrenching, troubling, funny . . . Ford has masterfully used a strange, tragic footnote from history to transport the reader back in time.”—Karen Abbott, author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
“Only Jamie Ford could take a snippet of a true story about a child offered as a raffle prize at the 1909 Seattle World’s Fair and spin it into a dazzling tale of love and family and ultimately hope. Love and Other Consolation Prizes has the big generous heart Ford always brings to his novels and fans will rejoice in it.”—Ann Hood, author of The Book That Matters Most
“Heartbreaking, wondrous, triumphant.”—Ken Liu, author of The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
“An epic and touching love story of a raffled-off orphan boy named Ernest and the two girls he loves—one for now, one forever. Set against the backdrop of old Seattle, Love and Other Consolation Prizes is a tenderly defiant testimony to the soaring value of a human being, even the most forgotten among us.”—Kathy Hepinstall, author of The Book of Polly
About the Author
The son of a Chinese American father, Jamie Ford is the New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and Songs of Willow Frost. Having grown up in Seattle, he now lives in Montana with his wife and children.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
At the other end, we have the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, with a brand new Space Needle and much more. The little boy is now Ernest Young, senior citizen, living in a flea bag hotel, with his wife, Gracie, being in a state of dementia. But her memories are starting to come back, and she is calming down. At the same time, one of their daughters, Judy (Juju), a newspaper reporter, is searching for a great story- and has discovered, via old newspapers, that her father was the boy who was raffled off. She wants his story. He’s reluctant to talk about it, for reasons that become obvious.
When Ernest was raffled off, the madam of Seattle’s finest brothel won him. At first glance this would seem to be a bad thing, but it’s not. For the first time he has enough to eat, and his own room. He’s treated well. He’s expected to work and earn his keep, but he’s not a slave. The other servants and the ‘upstairs’ girls are likewise well treated. Of course, the upstairs girls run the risks of the trade- disease and nasty customers. Nasty customers are barred forever, but nothing stops disease. Madam Flo is the stereotypical hooker with a heart of gold.
As soon as he is won by Madame Flor, he makes the acquaintance of two girls near his own age: one the daughter of the madam, Maisie (although identified to all as her sister); the other is Fahn, a Japanese scullery maid. It turns out he knows Fahn; she was on the same boatful of indentured servants that he was on. Ernest and the two girls become fast friends in the years that they are there.
It’s a heartbreaking story in some ways; in other ways it’s heartwarming. Ford has researched Seattle history; there really *was* a child raffled off at the AYP Expo, although that one was a baby. The brothels of Seattle of course were real, including one very high class one that bribed everyone that needed bribing to stay in business. The girls- many of them Asian- kept as slaves in the low class ‘cribs’ were real.
There is a good balance of well-developed characters, great description of scenes and events, and action. We’re seeing the beginning of the modern age- electric lights taking over from gaslights, automobiles showing up on the streets- and it’s an exciting time. Five stars out of five.
This is a story about a tragic chapter in history, but Jamie Ford manages to make it not only tolerable but incredibly compelling. I walked away from this book not only knowing more about history, but feeling like the time I spent in the book's pages was well spent. Highly recommended.
In China Ernest was of mixed blood, the bastard son of a white missionary. His mother was poor and he’s unsure if she sent him to America to have a chance at a better life or if she sold him to keep from starving. He’s forgotten her face but he always remembers her smell. In America he lives for a time in a children’s home but at the age of 12 his sponsor, Suffragette and Women’s Temperance leader, has him auctioned off at the Fair. He is won by Madam Flo who runs the Tenderloin, a gentlemen’s club in the city.
Ernest’s wife Grace is suffering from memory loss brought about from medical complications resulting from compromises in her past. She is now skittish around men and lives with her daughter Juju who is a journalist and wants to unravel her parent’s story for an article that will tie in to the current Fair. His second daughter, a show girl in Las Vegas comes to town for the fair and also to introduce her parents to her fiancé. As the family comes together bits and pieces of the story of Ernest and Grace emerge creating a tale that is both tender and bizarre.
The chronology of this well-crafted story fluctuates between Ernest’s immigration from China in 1902, and the fairs of 1909 and 1962. Author Jamie Ford is a master at creating characters that the reader connects with and who become alive on the page. I found this book fascinating for both its history as well as its character’s storyline.
This book is very well written and soon the reader is pulled into Ernest's world with all the uncertainties.