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Adventurous,
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The Lives of Diamond Bessie: A Novel
by Jody Hadlock

Published: 2022-04-05T00:0
Paperback : 0 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
“Drawing on a true story, Hadlock uses authentic period detail and well-drawn characters to pull readers into Annie/Bessie’s precarious journey toward redemption, which comes to an unexpected ending. This affecting tale of a 19th-century American woman struggling to prove her worth ...
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Introduction

“Drawing on a true story, Hadlock uses authentic period detail and well-drawn characters to pull readers into Annie/Bessie’s precarious journey toward redemption, which comes to an unexpected ending. This affecting tale of a 19th-century American woman struggling to prove her worth other than as a marriage prospect leaves a lasting impression.” —Publishers Weekly

“[A] genre-bending debut novel. . . . There’s an impressive deliberateness in the way that Hadlock present her themes. . . The novel also skillfully uses foreshadowing to create a suspenseful atmosphere without giving the game away. . . . An often engaging and inventive character study.” —Kirkus Reviews

Pregnant out of wedlock, sixteen-year-old Annie Moore is sent to live at a convent for fallen women. When the nuns take her baby, Annie escapes, determined to find a way to be reunited with her daughter. But few rights or opportunities are available to a woman in the 1860s, and after failing to find a respectable job, Annie resorts to prostitution in order to survive.

As a highly sought-after demi-mondaine, Annie—now Bessie—garners many expensive gifts from her admirers, and eventually meets and marries the son of a wealthy jeweler. With her marriage, she believes her dream of returning to proper society has finally come true. She’s proven wrong when she suffers the ultimate betrayal at the hands of the man she thought would be her salvation. But Bessie doesn’t let her story end there.

Inspired by a true story and set amid the burgeoning women’s rights movement, The Lives of Diamond Bessie is a haunting tale of betrayal and redemption that explores whether seeking revenge is worth the price you might pay.

Perfect for fans of Emma Donoghue, MJ Rose, and Hannah Kent.

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Excerpt

1
Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past. — Lama Surya Das
Buffalo, New York, December 1866
I had been with the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge for four months when I finally drew up the courage to speak to the Mother Superior. The silent period was in effect, but I couldn’t wait any longer. As I approached her office, my body, weighted with a swollen belly, grew heavier. Before I could change my mind, I steeled myself and knocked on her door. After a terse “Entrez,” I entered. When the Mother saw me, she frowned. ... view entire excerpt...

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by Pauline H. (see profile) 07/05/22

 
by Marcia D. (see profile) 05/29/22

The story is an interesting look at prostitution in the 1860’s but halfway through there is a twist. After that I could not put the book down and I read until I finished the book—2AM on ... (read more)

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