Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Love and Other Consolation Prizes

A Novel

Large Print - 2017 | Large print edition.
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From the bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet comes a powerful novel, inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.

"An evocative, heartfelt, beautifully crafted story that shines a light on a fascinating, tragic bit of forgotten history."--Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale

For twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World's Fair feels like a gift. But only once he's there, amid the exotic exhibits, fireworks, and Ferris wheels, does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off--a healthy boy "to a good home."

The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam's precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever known--and against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he's always desired.

But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love.

Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle's second World's Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be, while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters.

Against a rich backdrop of post-Victorian vice, suffrage, and celebration, Love and Other Consolations is an enchanting tale about innocence and devotion--in a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale.

Praise for Love and Other Consolation Prizes

"Exciting . . . [Jamie] Ford captures the thrill of first kisses and the shock of revealing long-hidden affairs." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Strong . . . A laudable effort that shines light on little known histories."-- Library Journal

"Poignant . . . Vibrantly rendered." -- Booklist

"Combining rich narrative and literary qualities, the book achieves a multi-faceted emotional resonance. It is by turns heart-rending, tragic, disturbing, sanguine, warm, and life-affirming. Perceptive themes that run throughout culminate at the end. A true story from the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition inspired this very absorbing and moving novel. Highly recommended." -- Historical Novel Society (Editors' choice)

"Ford is a master at shining light into dark, forgotten corners of history and revealing the most unexpected and relatable human threads. . . . A beautiful and enthralling story of resilience and the many permutations of love." --Jessica Shattuck, author of The Women in the Castle

"All the charm and heartbreak of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet . . . Based on a true story, Love and Other Consolation Prizes will warm your soul." --Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, [2017]
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780525501237
Branch Call Number: FIC Ford
Characteristics: large print.
463 pages (large print) ; 24 cm


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brookse0518 Dec 31, 2017

This title was interesting enough that I also read Ford's earlier book. I like the way he switches from past to present with good character development.

Dec 30, 2017

An orphan boy called Ernest Young is raffled as a prize at the 1909 Seattle world’s fair. That catches your attention. His new home is the Tenderloin, a classy brothel in the red light district. Years later when the next world’s fair opens there, his journalist daughter wants to mine his memories.

Love Jamie Ford’s writing and his storytelling. Wonderful historical fiction.

Dec 20, 2017

If you loved The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, you’ll enjoy Jamie Ford’s new book. The storyline moves between the Seattle Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909 and the 1962 World’s Fair. It’s the story of Ernest a Chinese boy who was sold by his mother and brought to the US. Ending up as the houseboy in a Seattle brothel, he later marries and has two daughters. If you love Seattle history and the part Asians have played in its growth, this book is for you.

Nov 21, 2017

As usual with Jamie Ford, I was most fascinated by the carefully incorporated Seattle history. This seems to be his passion, and I often wonder what would happen if he tried his hand at non-fiction. (Disclaimer: I received access to an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book)

Nov 16, 2017

This book is distasteful! I read only half of it. I don't recommend this book.
What a disappointment, doesn't compare to Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, the author's first book.
I, too, noticed the mistake about middle school. That term was not used in 1909 or 1962.

Oct 19, 2017

Most of the main characters are well rounded and interesting. The beginning is touching, as famine and poverty in China's Pearl River Delta lead Yung's mother to sell him to a "man who is not your uncle," who takes him illegally to America in 1902. He ends up in a string of orphanages in early Seattle, where, as the only Asian child, he is bullied and his brilliance isn't noticed. At the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in 1909, Yung, now known as Ernest Young, 12, is raffled off, becoming a houseboy at Seattle's best brothel. There he falls in love with two girls a bit older than he, and finds friendship for the first time. This is the best part of the book. Interleaved with this is Seattle's 1962 World's Fair. Ernest has been living alone, his wife descending into dementia and living with one of their two daughters. The 1962 World's Fair begins to bring back some of her memories of their early days together. These sections of the book, and the ending, are too rushed, and a bit maudlin. A native Seattleite, I noticed a few errors, some of time--Ernest at 12 is said to be in middle school, which was still called junior high in 1962. Others are minor errors of fact that Ford, also a native Seattleite, shouldn't be making. Still, an enjoyable book if not quite up to ""Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet."


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Nov 21, 2017

This is Ford’s third historical novel, this time set in Seattle during the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition. Ford opens on the better remembered 1962 fair, and uses it to echo and reflect the main action of 1909. The plot was inspired by a fascinating newspaper clipping from the AYP Expo, advertising the fact that an orphan boy was one of the raffle prizes at the fair. The fate of the real boy is unknown, but in his novel, Ford imagines what might have become of a young half-Chinese boy named Ernest, whose winning ticket is sold to the madam of an infamous brothel. Raised in a Catholic orphanage, Ernest comes to the red light district as the temperance movement is surging in the city, and finds himself caught between the Japanese house girl, Fahn, and Madam Flora’s stubborn daughter, Maisie.

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