Love and Other Consolation Prizes: A Novel (Hardcover)

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October 2017 Indie Next List


“Jamie Ford has written another fabulous story. In Love and Other Consolation Prizes, a child is raffled off as a prize at a world's fair in Seattle in 1909. Based on a real-life raffle, this story is about Ernest Young, a Chinese orphan refugee who is won by the owner of The Tenderloin, a brothel where he becomes the house boy and lives a life with enough food to eat and hope for the future. During the Seattle World's Fair of 1962, Ernest reminisces about all of the life he lived between the two fairs.”
— Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

Description


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

About the Author


The son of a Chinese American father, Jamie Ford is the New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and Songs of Willow Frost. Having grown up in Seattle, he now lives in Montana with his wife and children.

Praise For…


“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 . . . inspired this very absorbing and moving novel. Highly recommended.”Historical Novel Society (Editors’ choice)

“Another winner . . . Ford has a wonderful gift. He nimbly takes the reader into forgotten pieces of history . . . with characters so real they will stay with you for some time to come.”Fredericksburg Free Lance–Star

“An evocative, heartfelt, beautifully crafted story that shines a light on a fascinating, tragic bit of forgotten history, this is Ford at his storytelling best.”—Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale

“In this sweeping, bighearted novel—inspired by the true story of a twelve-year-old boy raffled off as a prize at the 1909 Seattle World Fair—we encounter a cast of colorful characters, fascinating historical details, and insights about morality, race, and culture that deepen and expand the story. . . . Utterly charming.”—Christina Baker Kline, author of A Piece of the World and Orphan Train

“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

“A gripping story about the unpredictability of life and, above all, the incredible power of love to heal even the most shameful wounds . . . Ford has created a fascinating world, bookended by Seattle’s two world’s fairs, and peopled it with colorful, brave characters we care deeply about in this masterful job of storytelling.”—Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue

“Irresistibly magnificent . . . How does a novel genius top himself? Jamie Ford’s newest takes an extraordinary moment in history, where vice lives alongside innocence, and transforms it into a dazzling, hold-your-breath story about the families we make and the ones we are thrust into, about who we are and who we dreamed we could be.”—Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World

“Soaring, heart-wrenching, troubling, funny . . . Ford has masterfully used a strange, tragic footnote from history to transport the reader back in time.”—Karen Abbott, author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
Product Details
ISBN: 9780804176750
ISBN-10: 0804176752
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: September 12th, 2017
Pages: 320
Language: English