Read City of Glory: A Novel of War and Desire in Old Manhattan by Beverly Swerling Free Online
Book Title: City of Glory: A Novel of War and Desire in Old Manhattan|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 472 KB
v The author of the book: Beverly Swerling
Edition: Simon & Schuster
Date of issue: January 9th 2007
ISBN 13: 9780743269209
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books City of Glory: A Novel of War and Desire in Old Manhattan:Set against the dramatic backdrop of America's second war for independence, Beverly Swerling's gripping and intricately plotted sequel to the much-loved "City of Dreams" plunges deep into the crowded streets of old New York. Poised between the Manhattan woods and the sea that is her gateway to the world, the city of 1812 is vibrant but raw, a cauldron where the French accents of Creole pirates mingle with the brogues of Irish seamen, and shipments of rare teas and silks from Canton are sold at raucous Pearl Street auctions. Allegiances are more changeable than the tides, love and lust often indistinguishable, the bonds of country weak compared to the temptation of fabulous riches from the East, and only a few farseeing patriots recognize the need not only to protect the city from the redcoats, but to preserve the fragile Constitutional union forged in 1787.
Joyful Patrick Turner, dashing war hero and brilliant surgeon, loses his hand to a British shell, retreats to private life, and hopes to make his fortune in the China trade. To succeed he must run the British blockade; if he fails, he will lose not only a livelihood, but the beautiful Manon, daughter of a Huguenot jeweler who will not accept a pauper as a son-in-law. When stories of a lost treasure and a mysterious diamond draw him into a treacherous maze of deceit and double-cross, and the British set Washington ablaze, Joyful realizes that more than his personal future is at stake. His adversary, Gornt Blakeman, has a lust for power that will not be sated until he claims Joyful's fiancee as his wife and half a nation as his personal fiefdom. Like the Turners before him, Joyful must choose: his dreams or hiscountry.
Swerling's vividly drawn characters illuminate every aspect of the teeming metropolis: John Jacob Astor, the wealthiest man in America, brings the city's first Chinese to staff his palatial Broadway mansion; Lucretia Carter, wife of a respectable craftsman, makes ends meet as an abortionist serving New York's brothels; Thumbless Wu, a mysterious Cantonese stowaway, slinks about on a secret mission; and the bewitching Delight Higgins, proprietress of the town's finest gambling club, lives in terror of the blackbirding gangs who prey on runaway slaves. They are all here, the butchers and shipwrights, the doctors and scriv-eners, the slum dwellers of Five Points and the money men of the infant stock exchange...conspiring by day and carousing by night, while the women must hide their loyalties and ambitions, their very wills, behind pretty sighs and silken skirts.
Read information about the authorI’m told that a number of critics who have said kind things about my books, have been less kind about the very brief bio on my book jackets. First, don’t blame Simon & Schuster; it’s my fault. Publishers use the data supplied by the author for this kind of thing, and I didn’t supply much. I guess because it seems that almost everything needs a long explanation. Which is probably me being egotistical. What do you care, right? You buy my books to be entertained (and very grateful I am), you don’t give two hoots about me.
But there are those picky critics…
Here then is a somewhat less abbreviated version.
I grew up in the Boston suburb of Revere, and while I won’t tell you when, I will say that it was very different from what it is today. The beach was, as it still is, one of the natural wonders of the state of Massachusetts, but the front was NOT lined with condo high-rises. It was a boardwalk with stands selling fried clams (Massachusetts has the world’s best fried clams – made from the Ipswich soft shells, they remain what I’d choose for my last meal on this earth) and French fries and soft ice cream that we called frozen custard. Plus there were all kinds of gambling games of the sort found at any fairground – pitch ‘til you win, folks! – and a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster and a tunnel of love.
Another feature of Revere back then was that it was almost entirely either Jewish or Italian (my own family is a mixture of both) and because the town had a dog track – Wonderland - and a horse track – Suffolk Downs – there was a lot of what is politely called off-track betting. Which wasn’t legal then, and for all I know still is not. Nonetheless, any number of family members rented rooms to bookies – the chief requirement being that these gentlemen of the turf had to be able to see one or the other of the tote boards with binoculars, (a world without cell phones, remember) and know how much they were liable to pay out, which in turn affected what odds they could offer on the next race.
I went from that upstanding childhood to a small Catholic girls college in the Midwest, then a job in New York as a file clerk to support my writing – all non-fiction at first – until I was able to earn my way as a free lance journalist.
For a time after that I lived in Europe.
Where I got married for a brief and unpleasant period, then came home and wrote more non-fiction. And got married again.
And went back to Europe.
And started writing fiction, and – hallelujah! – selling it.
And came back to New York with my by now long time husband, and began writing City of Dreams…
Which just about catches you up. Except for the bits I’ve left out.
And, oh yes, one other important part of my life and my work: On that so brief bio on the S&S book jacket it mentions that I’m a consultant. Many people have asked me what kind.
Happens that my husband – who has his own website at www.agentresearch.com – runs the world’s number one consultancy for authors looking for new (or sometimes a first) agents. It’s called Agent Research and Evaluation, Inc. and I do some work for some of his clients. I also occasionally mentor new writers – and some who are not so new. What they all have in common is a passion for what they’re writing, so working with them gives me great joy, and most have found it helpful. (Admittedly not all. I set the bar high.) Some of what I have to share about the hows and the whys of this wonderful but very tough business of writing can be found at The Business of Writing page. At other parts of the site you’ll find more about my books, including excerpts from some not yet published work, such as City of Glory, which continues the story of the Turners and the Devreys of City of Dreams. City of Glory will be out in January. We’ve also put up an excerpt from the next book in that series, still little more than a gleam in my eye.
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