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A scandal that shocks a nation...and a passion that transforms a woman.
At the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, the modern, the exotic, and the ground-breaking collide. But Dora Chambers has more pressing matters to consider. Hoping to begin a life of wealth and privilege in Chicago, she sets out to earn the approval of the Fair's Board of Lady Managers to appease her ambitious, aloof husband. Unimpressed, they give Dora the distasteful task of enforcing proper conduct at the Egyptian belly dancing exhibition.
But Dora's sensibilities are not so easily flustered. She finds herself captivated by these exotic women, and by their enigmatic manager, Hossam Farouk, who makes his mistrust of her known-although his lingering glances hint at something else.
As Dora's eyes are opened to the world beyond a life of social expectations and quiet servitude, she finds the courage to break free of her self-imposed bondage, and discovers the truth about the desire and passion in her own heart.
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DeAnna Cameron served as editor of Orange Coast, a regional lifestyle magazine, and worked at several Southern California newspapers before turning to fiction.From Publishers Weekly:
While Cameron depicts with accuracy and sympathy the very real plight of women in 19th century America, uneven pacing and character development weaken this debut. When the World's Fair arrives in Chicago in 1893, women are sexually repressed and strictly ruled by their husbands. Newlywed Dora Chambers goes to great lengths to keep her banker husband, Charles, happy, even ingratiating herself with a dreadful group of snotty socialites who oversee the decorum of the fair's more exotic exhibits, like the popular Egyptian belly dancing attraction. Dora is given the task of toning down the Egyptian dancers' act, strikes up a friendship with the troupe, and together they appease the outraged female population by modifying their dance and adding scarves to disguise their curves. Dora's husband, impatient with her virginal fear of the marriage bed, quickly resumes relations with his powerful and rich mistress, a widow who despises Dora and knows the secrets that can ruin Dora's social standing. Despite the intriguing subject and historical period, Dora's startling transformation under the tutelage of the dance troupe feels unreal, even though the story is based on fact.
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