The Strength of the Sun ). "/>

THE TRANSFORMATION

Catherine Chidgey, Author . Holt $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6971-6

Swampy late–19th-century Tampa Bay is the unlikely romantic setting for this poignant historical novel by New Zealander Chidgey (The Strength of the Sun ). Upon the construction of the Tampa Bay Hotel, a Byzantine fairy tale castle that soon attracts fashionable winter travelers, three eccentric American-made personalities descend on the town: a wig maker, a cigar factory worker and a Detroit widow. Marion Unger, a young Detroit wife, had arrived with her bricklayer husband, Jack, who helped build the hotel; he dies soon after its completion. In mourning, Marion finds her way to inimitable Parisian perruquier Lucien Goulet III, recently installed in the Tampa area to make his fortune; he weaves a memorial bracelet for her out of her hair and her late husband's, and becomes obsessed by her white-blonde tresses. Meanwhile, a Cuban immigrant teenager Rafael Méndez, employed as a roller in the local Ybor City cigar factory, is intent on aiding his country in the throes of revolution. When Rafael goes to work at night for the conniving Goulet—picking through people's trash to search for hanks of hair—he meets the chaste, rather naïve Marion and falls in love with her. A "transformation" is the sort of stupendous architectural hairpiece designed by M. Goulet, but here it also stands for the changes ushering in a motley new society. Incorporating her research with an organic touch, Chidgey constructs a tale as enchanting as the hotel rising from its Florida swamp. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (May 6)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-330-43323-5
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-676-97696-0
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-86473-465-5
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-312-42606-4
Hardcover - 260 pages - 978-0-330-43322-8
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-676-97697-7
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4668-6136-7
Open Ebook - 978-0-307-36871-3
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.