Madam in Silk
By Gini Grossenbacher
Publication Date: July 15, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 476 Pages
Series: The American Madams, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction.
San Francisco,1849. Despite her objections, twenty-year-old Ah Toy and her servant Chen voyage from China to San Francisco with her husband who dies on board ship. With little cash and bound feet, how is she to find employment in the Gold Rush town? Since she is the only Chinese woman there, she opens a “Lookee Shop,” catering to miners who pay in gold dust to see her exotic beauty. As her notoriety grows, so does her attraction to the devoted policeman, John Clark. Yet should she put her faith in one man? Will their love survive despite her frightening encounter with Sydney Ducks, threats from rival madam Li Fan, and a tempting offer from Henry Conrad who promises her wealth and security? Armed with her mystical beliefs of the inner dragon and Goddess Mazu, Ah Toy faces much more than the journey from the ancient ways in China to the new world in America. In fact, she must find the true source of courage in a life or death struggle for her own fate, justice, and dignity. Based on page-turning accounts about the life of Ah Toy, one of San Francisco’s most legendary madams.
“Readers were effusive in their praise of Gini Grossenbacher’s dynamic debut novel Madam of My Heart, based on the life of the infamous brothel owner Belle Cora. This, the prequel to her American Madams Series, is inspired by the life of a beautiful young Chinese woman of high birth brought to California against her will. She was able–and willing–to do whatever it took to find security and fortune in Gold Rush San Francisco. Madam in Silk is this year’s exciting addition to historical fiction.” -Cheryl Anne Stapp, Author of Disaster & Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush Through the Civil War
This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the Author,
Listen to your Inner Dragon 🐉…..
Madame In Silk, is Gini Grossenbacher’s second novel in The American Madam Series.
Ah Toy, finds herself along with her dedicated lifelong servant Chen, on a ship bond for San Francisco. Her life takes a sudden twist when her husband dies on the voyage. Stepping off the ship she finds herself in the rapidly expanding world of the San Francisco Gold Rush.
In a Tragic turn of events her dead husbands well laid plans comes a halt. Ah Toy is now destitute, and struggles to find employment. With time running out and her resources depleted. Her lotus bond feet were once highly prized in her native Guangzhou, but actually have handicapped her making everyday walking a trial. She decides to capitalize on her one true aspect, her extraordinary beauty. With help from her devoted Chen she opens a Lookee Shop.
Gini Grossenbacher, has written a vividly descriptive, atmospheric, intriguing, well-written and irresistible historical fiction here, that I absolutely loved and was thoroughly impressed by. The characters were extremely interesting, compelling, and definitely held my full attention. Exquisite prose, with great pacing and depth, Victorian San Francisco comes to life within the pages of this beautifully atmospheric, compelling novel. Ah Toy’s narrative voice allows you to struggle along with her and Chen as the find themselves facing obstacles and dangers on all sides.
Grossenbacher, writing ability shines through in the details of the interaction between the characters themselves. To me the the strength of the novel is the trials and tribulations that the main protagonist has survived through. Fierce and inspirational, Ah Toy must listen to her inner dragon to find her way in this truly stunning beautifully written historical fiction.
As her notoriety grows, so does her attraction to the devoted policeman, John Clark. Yet should she put her faith in one man? Ah’s relationship with Chen, is definitely worth noting, his complete devotion to her was truly heartwarming.
This is a touching, raw, heartbreaking and an absolutely wonderful novel that had me emotionally engaged and interested throughout the entire book. I was completely immersed in this deeply moving and beautifully written story here. I connected with and absolutely loved Gini Grossenbacher writing style.
This well researched historical fiction was incredible, I am definitely looking forward to reading the next installment in her series.
I also enjoyed the selective placement of Li Po’s writing in the book. Li Po wrote occasional verse and poems about his own life. His poetry is known for its clear imagery and conversational tone. His work influenced a number of 20th-century poets, including Ezra Pound and James Wright.
The author touches on some critical subjects, the position of the Chinese immigrant in the Victorian era, and the foundation of the Californi’s 19th century sex trade
This is a 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book
About the Author
California author Gini Grossenbacher was a successful high school English teacher until she abandoned grades and term papers, choosing to write historical novels instead. Now she leads small writing groups and coaches other writers. She loves researching the history behind her novels, and enjoys traveling to the setting where they take place. Her hobbies include needlepoint, nature walks, and Scrabble. She lives in the Sacramento Valley where she grew up, east of San Francisco.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, September 23
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Wednesday, September 25
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Monday, September 30
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Tuesday, October 1
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Thursday, October 3
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Friday, October 4
Interview at Passages to the Past
Monday, October 7
Review at Passages to the Past
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Madam in Silk! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
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