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Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past.
Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her still, one wants only to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.
As Lilliet mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from circus rider to courtesan, from empress' maid to stage ingénue, all the while weaving a web of passion and intrigue. Will the truth secure Lillet's fate - or destroy her with the secrets it reveals?
Alexander Chee won a Whiting Award for his first novel, Edinburgh, and is a recipient of the NEA Fellowship in Fiction and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ledig House and Civitella Ranieri. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Tin House and Slate and on NPR, among others, and he is a contributing editor at The New Republic. He lives in New York City.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Donna Cameron on 09-25-16
Its a bit of a slog...
I went to this book thinking it would be exactly up my street being a fan of historical fiction in 1800's but... this was a disappointment. A lot of work and reasearch went in to the novel but all goes to waste when the plot is bland mellowdrama with an under developed cast of characters particular the protagonist who has no personality what so ever and 'The Tenor' who comes of a mustache twirling villian. Too long to be enjoyable fluff either.