Odette's: A Quality Men's Club

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by Bridget Finnegan | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 9781955072007 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingMmeClintonwing of South Berwick, Maine USA on 6/14/2024
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingMmeClintonwing from South Berwick, Maine USA on Friday, June 14, 2024
Odette's: A Quality Men's Club (Bridget Finnegan). This was the Music Hall book club's final choice of the year before summer break. It was suggested that we read something by a local author (we have done this before, with J. Dennis Robinson, for example) most successfully. The author was present, and she was interesting to listen to, a graphic artist out with her first novel, a mystery of sorts, as the main character Jess, a former prostitute at Odette's, but for many years now settled in her own home with another younger woman, Sarah, who left Odette's with her and has been adopted by Jess (even though Jess is 28 and Sarah 20, which feels rather odd to me) and sharing their home (a gift from a sea captain you meet much later to thank Jess for solving a crime for him via her new detective agency). Sarah is also a runaway slave, one of several subplots. The evening went well, as people talked about the writing/inspiration/research topics and frequently veered into modern times and sex workers (certainly not the term used in 1850 when this story takes place). A few people seemed to genuinely like the book, but most like me either just didn't say much or just skirted any real discussion of the book itself at any deep level. Nobody wanted to be negative to a visiting author; we are a kind group! Afterwards I had my usual dinner with friends, and most of us thought the book was okay but not all that engaging. It wasn't the topics, but the bare bones style. If it had been written as a serious novel with backstory building, it could have been a dynamite historical fiction account of so many things....from the shipwreck on the Isles of Shoals (critical to the mystery which was not very well fleshed out) to an exploration on why/how girls ended up being exploited in whorehouses to how one becomes a madam to the realities of seafarers and so on. None of it was developed enough to make me feel I was engrossed in the times, holding my breath for what might happen next. Quite a few spelling errors were jarring, but that is something that might only bother me. The subject matter, especially concerning the prostitution, was not offensive, but the overuse of coarse explicit sexual acts was a turn off in a story with so little development of characters. Easy to read, but choppy. The question was put forth as to how much we enjoyed the recognition of local names (including the town where I live!) and whether it could appeal to people elsewhere.... and I think if it had been more fully developed, it could have.

Journal Entry 2 by wingMmeClintonwing at When Pigs Fly Company Store And Pizzeria in Kittery, Maine USA on Friday, June 14, 2024

Released 1 mo ago (6/15/2024 UTC) at When Pigs Fly Company Store And Pizzeria in Kittery, Maine USA

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on the bench near the entrances

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