To be published March 6, 2014; Viking Adult
Objective rating: 4.5/5
Genre: historical romance; mystery
My comments: A combination of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady but with much darker overtones. Nature vs nurture, one of the theories being debated in mid 19th century, is the main theme of this novel. Suspenseful till the very end.
Publisher description: From the author of The Orphanmaster, a novel about a wild girl from Nevada who lands in Manhattan’s Gilded Age society. An alluring, smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, a wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society.
A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl’s illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered. Zimmerman’s tale is narrated by the Delegate’s son, a Harvard anatomy student. The tormented, Hugo Delegate speaks from a prison cell where he is prepared to take the fall for his beloved Savage Girl. This narrative—a love story and a mystery with a powerful sense of fable—is his confession.
From the Author's Note:
"Though this book may its head in the clouds of fantasy it has its feet planted firmly in fact. Stories of feral children, private transcontinental train travel and a tigon in the Central Park Zoo all are grounded in historical research, as are details of confectionary Fifth Avenue mansions and outlandish French ballgowns..."Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book.