Complex and sophisticated, sensuous and sexy, Nora Hague's eloquent debut novel, Letters from an Age of Reason, is set amid two historical hotbeds of racial tension, moral hypocrisy, and shifting sexual convention. The years in question are the tumultuous '60s -- the 186os. And the landscapes are those of the Civil War -- era United States and Victorian England.
Miss Arabella Leeds, the teenage daughter of a prominent New York family, and Aubrey Paxton, the pampered "high-yellow" house servant of wealthy New Orleans slaveholders, are destined to meet and fall in love. But before their paths can cross, and their romance commences in London, each must forsake complacency and comfort, the familial and familiar, for a journey toward selfdiscovery and the allure of the forbidden. Arabella must abandon the gentlewoman's prescribed path and redefine her convictions -- particularly those regarding her own sexuality -- while Aubrey must acknowledge within himself a growing awareness of race and gender politics, and his place in a culture determined to ostracize him.
The pair make their unknowing way toward each other, encountering en route high adventure, erotic awakening, long-buried family secrets, and the racy underpinnings of corseted nineteenthcentury society. Coincidence and correspondence steer them into the company of morphine addicts and occult practitioners, protofeminists and sexual outcasts, glib aristocracy and dire poverty. But for Aubrey and Arabella, the greatest challenge will lie in their passion for each other, which places them forever outside the mores and conventions of their time.
A romantic adventure rich with vivacity, humor, and historical detail, Letters from an Age of Reason is a beautifully tapestried tour-de-force whose exceptional depth, passion, and power are sure to resonate long after the final page is turned.
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Nora Hague is an alumnus of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at New York University. She presently resides in New York City, where she is at work on her second novel.From AudioFile:
The grimness of this novel is exacerbated by its length and Mary Peiffer's clear but unimpassioned reading. Judicious abridgment would make the pace more enjoyable, as would a more dramatic performance. For the settings of antebellum and Civil War New Orleans, New York, and London, there should be a greater variety of accents, intonation, and volume in the reading. And, while the premise of a romance between a biracial man and a white woman during the nineteenth century is an engaging concept, this novel doesn't live up to the emotional scope of the idea. Even the "happy" ending isn't worth the investment of time it takes to endure this entire tale. R.F. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Book Description U.S.A.: William Morrow, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition.. 9842 Language: eng Language: eng. Bookseller Inventory # 3G98D
Book Description William Morrow, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060184914
Book Description William Morrow, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060184914