City of Light

City of Light

Book - 1999
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It is 1901 and Buffalo, New York, stands at the center of the nation's attention as a place of immense wealth and sophistication. The massive hydroelectric power development at nearby Niagara Falls and the grand Pan-American Exposition promise to bring the Great Lakes "city of light" even more repute. Against this rich historical backdrop lives Louisa Barrett, the attractive, articulate headmistress of the Macaulay School for Girls. Protected by its powerful all-male board, "Miss Barrett" is treated as an equal by the men who control the life of the city. Lulled by her unique relationship with these titans of business, Louisa feels secure in her position, until a mysterious death at the power plant triggers a sequence of events that forces her to return to a past she has struggled to conceal, and to question everything and everyone she holds dear. Both observer and participant, Louisa Barrett guides the reader through the culture and conflicts of a time and place where immigrant factory workers and nature conservationists protest violently against industrialists, where presidents broker politics, where wealthy "Negroes" fight for recognition and equality, and where women struggle to thrive in a system that allows them little freedom. Wrought with remarkable depth and intelligence,City of Lightremains a work completely of its own era, and of ours as well. A stirring literary accomplishment, Lauren Belfer's first novel marks the debut of a fresh voice for the new millennium and heralds a major publishing event.
Publisher: New York : The Dial Press, 1999.
ISBN: 9780385334013
Characteristics: 518 p. ;,24 cm.


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Nov 13, 2018

As I started this book I realized it was one I had read in the past! Decided to read again and was glad I did. A tale that is relevant to today's Me Too movement!!

ibook4650 Jul 05, 2016

For me, this book was a pleasant read from this author. The historical aspects were woven into the storyline that carried on from the first page until the last page. The human condition from the rich and the poor has in influence on the main character that steer her through life with its ebbs and flows. I will read other books written by this author.

Apr 07, 2015

This is an interesting book about the turn of the century in 1900, Buffalo NY. The first person acount of an all girls school teacher tells the reader of the history surrounding the Niagara Falls/Electricty plant with a colorful cast of characters. Both social and political situations of the time period are weaved into this very rich story line. Throw in a mysterious murder and the plot thickens and brews into a fascinating tale. Historical fiction is very well done in this book.

Jul 09, 2012

Historical Fiction set in Buffalo, New York in 1901 when the Pan American Exposition is about to begin and hydroelectric power at Niagra Falls will bring electricity to the Great Lakes. A mysterious death leads to the uncovering of secrets in the city.

Jul 06, 2012

City of Light was an engrossing historical murder mystery set during one of my favorite eras, the turn of the 20th century. The novel has a strong feminist storyline about a spinster headmistress who has cultivated her own independent life in Buffalo. The story skillfully weaves together real and fictional characters, very engrossing. The ending is somewhat unsatisfying, but otherwise, a lovely read.

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