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The Wilde women : a novel
Paula Wall
Adult Fiction WALL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Wall's second novel (after The Rock Orchard) follows two beautiful, smart, sexually provocative, self-assured sisters whose dalliances captivate their small Southern hometown. Five Points, Tenn., has been brought low by the depression, but the residents retain their interest in the Wilde sisters' feud, which began when Pearl caught her younger sister Kat inappropriately entertaining Bourne Cavanagh, Pearl's fiance and the heir to a whiskey distillery empire. Pearl disappears and travels the world, sending Kat a tersely worded postcard every month. Sassy and brash Kat stays behind and toys with the town's menfolk, including Mason Hughes, whose wealthy family owns the shirt factory where Kat works. Pearl sashays home after a few years and opens a high-class bordello that caters to the rich and powerful, while Kat continues to entice and evade Mason. Vignettes about secondary characters bog down the momentum, and while some are whimsically entertaining, they are more distracting than narrative-enriching. Fans of Southern women's fiction will forgive the meandering plot and be drawn in by the author's wit. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

After the debut success of The Rock Orchard, Wall has another winner. It's Christmas 1932, and smoldering Pearl Wilde returns to Five Points, TN, a town laid low by Prohibition, to open Five of Clubs, a swanky whorehouse. Added to the mix are the incendiary presences of Pearl's two-timing former fiance, Bourne, and her beautiful, equally guilty sister, Kat. It's a wild romp as hopes and dreams are realized through a bawdy house, an illegal distillery, and a shirt factory. Wall must have been channeling Mae West when writing, for the novel is full of zingy one liners, e.g., "There wasn't enough starch left in the boys to hold up her stare." She takes what could have been stock characters and situations and gives them life and vigor through spicy narrative and snappy dialog. For public libraries as funds permit; this is a meringue of a book, deliciously wicked, irresistibly satisfying, and over all too soon. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/06.]-Rebecca Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Pearl Wilde
Caught Kat with her fiance; left to travel the world; returns to her hometown and opens a high-class bordello.

Kat Wilde
Pearl's younger sister; sassy, brash, had a fling with Pearl's fiance; teases the men in town; works at a shirt factory; in love with Mason.

Mason Hughes
Family owns the shirt factory where Kat works.

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