New York Times bestselling author Carol Edgarian delivers “an all-encompassing and enthralling” (Oprah Daily) novel featuring an unforgettable heroine coming of age in the aftermath of catastrophe, and her quest for love and reinvention.
Meet Vera Johnson, fifteen-year-old illegitimate daughter of Rose, notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s most legendary bordello. Vera has grown up straddling two worlds—the madam’s alluring sphere, replete with tickets to the opera, surly henchmen, and scant morality, and the quiet domestic life of the family paid to raise her
On the morning of the great quake, Vera’s worlds collide. As the city burns and looters vie with the injured, orphaned, and starving, Vera and her guileless sister, Pie, are cast adrift. Disregarding societal norms and prejudices, Vera begins to imagine a new kind of life. She collaborates with Tan, her former rival, and forges an unlikely family of survivors, navigating through the disaster together.
“A character-driven novel about family, power, and loyalty, (San Francisco Chronicle), Vera brings to life legendary characters—tenor Enrico Caruso, indicted mayor Eugene Schmitz and boss Abe Ruef, tabloid celebrity Alma Spreckels. This “brilliantly conceived and beautifully realized” (Booklist, starred review) tale of improbable outcomes and alliances takes hold from the first page, with remarkable scenes of devastation, renewal, and joy. Vera celebrates the audacious fortitude of its young heroine, who discovers an unexpected strength in unprecedented times.
Author: Carol Edgarian's novels include the newly-released Vera, the New York Times bestseller Three Stages of Amazement and the international bestseller Rise The Euphrates, winner of the ANC Freedom Prize. Her work has been described by The Washington Post as notable for its “generosity of spirit, intelligence, humanity, and ambition”. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and W, among many others, and she co-edited the popular collection drawn from writers' diaries, The Writer's Life: Intimate Thoughts on Work, Love, Inspiration, and Fame. Carol is co-founder of the non-profit Narrative (www.NarrativeMagazine.com), a leading digital publisher of fiction, poetry, and art, and of Narrative in the Schools, which provides free libraries and writing resources for teachers and students around the world. Carol lives with her family in San Francisco.
Vanessa Hua is an award-winning, best-selling author and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her novel, A River of Stars, was named to the Washington Post and NPR’s Best Books of 2018 lists, and has been called a "marvel" by O, The Oprah Magazine, and "delightful" by The Economist. Her short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, a New York Times Editors' Choice, received an Asian/Pacific American Award in Literature and was a finalist for a California Book Award, and a New American Voices Award. Her forthcoming novel, Forbidden City, will be published in 2022.