Pink Chimneys: A Novel of Nineteenth Century Maine

Ardeana Hamlin Knowles, Author
Ardeana Hamlin Knowles, Author Tilbury House Publishers $15.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-88448-041-9
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
This mild and somewhat predictable first novel, set in 19th century Maine, is the saga of three strong-willed women who, although trapped by the mores of their time, make peace with the injustices of the era and eventually triumph. Maude Richmond is a spirited and independent teenager who wishes to become a physician like her father. Since that profession is closed to women, she becomes a midwife, choosing to tend to the childbirths of ""fallen women'' in defiance of the dictum that the they are evil incarnate. One of her patients, 16-year-old Fanny Abbot, has been seduced and abandoned. Reluctantly, Fanny gives her newborn daughter to her sister to raise and is set up by a Bangor businessman as madam of his posh house of prostitution, Pink Chimneys. The circle of intertwined relationships closes years later when Elizabeth Emerson, Fanny's daughter, is hired to work at Pink Chimneys as a seamstress. Unfortunately, the characters here are pale feminist stereotypes, second in interest to finely detailed descriptions of the burgeoning and thriving new state of Maine. (August 3)
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