Vera Book Review


The 1906 earthquake in San Francisco changed lives and leveled the city. The daughter of a bordello owner fights to survive through earthquake and then fire. I’ll admit I’ve seen every disaster movie out there probably because I’ve been through a couple myself.

About the Book

New York Times bestselling author Carol Edgarian delivers an astonishing feat of imagination, a grand adventure set in 1906 San Francisco—a city leveled by quake and fire—featuring an indomitable heroine coming of age in the aftermath of catastrophe and her quest for love and reinvention.

Meet Vera Johnson, the uncommonly resourceful fifteen-year-old illegitimate daughter of Rose, notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s most legendary bordello and ally to the city’s corrupt politicians. Vera has grown up straddling two worlds—the madam’s alluring sphere, replete with tickets to the opera, surly henchmen, and scant morality, and the violent, debt ridden domestic life of the family paid to raise her.

On the morning of the great quake, Vera’s worlds collide. As the shattered city burns and looters vie with the injured, orphaned, and starving, Vera and her guileless sister, Pie, are cast adrift. Vera disregards societal norms and prejudices and begins to imagine a new kind of life. She collaborates with Tan, her former rival, and forges an unlikely family of survivors. Together they navigate their way beyond disaster.

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My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is the story of Vera Johnson, a resilient young woman who has just turned fifteen. We find out that she is the daughter of a notorious madam and that her mother has parked her with a Swedish woman and her daughter so that she doesn’t have to grow up in a brothel. The relationship between Vera and her mother, Rose, is complicated. Vera’s drive for survival even at such a young age is something she shares with her mother, and when the earthquake of 1906 hits, she has to find her. Even though her mother has never been friendly, Vera needs to care for her. The earthquake and the recovery story are fascinating as the reader sees Vera overcome struggle after struggle. There are crooked politicians, good people, and a little romance. Great book!
I obtained this book from Net Galley and have left an honest review.

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