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The Crimson Rooms #2020

The Crimson Rooms London As Britain comes to terms with the aftermath of war Evelyn Gifford is still haunted by the death of her younger brother James in the trenches So when the doorbell rings late one night an

  • Title: The Crimson Rooms
  • Author: Katharine McMahon
  • ISBN: 9780297853381
  • Page: 308
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Crimson Rooms By Katharine McMahon, London, 1924 As Britain comes to terms with the aftermath of war, Evelyn Gifford is still haunted by the death of her younger brother James in the trenches So when the doorbell rings late one night and a woman appears, claiming to have been James s lover, her world is overturned.

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      Katharine McMahon

    1 thought on “The Crimson Rooms

    1. Evelyn Gifford 30 the narrator is a young woman who is living in the past, present and future.The Past The year is 1924 and Evelyn, who is a trainee solicitor, lives a lonely, unhappy life with her mother, grandmother and elderly aunt Prudence in a big rambling decaying house, still mourning the death of her brother, James, killed in WWII six years earlier Both her mother and Prudence can t understand why she wants to be a solicitor, they think it s totally unsuitable for a young woman.The Prese [...]

    2. I recently read and loved The Alchemist s Daughter by Katherine McMahon and was eager to see if her other novels were as good This one certainly was and I think I may have found a new favorite author One of the things I liked about The Alchemist s Daughter was the strong female protagonist that McMahon created and while their characters are completely different the strong female protagonist in this story is equally compelling.Evelyn Gifford is a thirty year old, Cambridge educated, lawyer earnin [...]

    3. Though most of the action in The Crimson Room takes place in the mid twenties the real impetus comes from World War I That war shaped the characters warped them, saddened, bent or strengthened them When her brother James is killed in the war Evelyn s family allows her to use the money set aside for James education She becomes one of the first female lawyers Meredith, a young woman who d met James while nursing near the front, appears on the family doorstep with a young boy who looks inexplicably [...]

    4. Yet another book that started out strong, and then tapered off into a mess of mediocrity Very disappointing While Katherin McMahon is clearly a gifted writer, her characters were flat and lifeless The heroine, Evelyn, was as repressed at the end of the book as she was at the beginning Although I was initially cheering for Evelyn to break free of her obnoxious relatives and throw off the mantle of dutiful daughter, she was unable to do so I kept waiting for her to cut her hair and even that didn [...]

    5. Like another reviewer said, a three star is too high, two is too low 2.5 is like it I so almost liked this book The historical setting was good, her research excellent, and her writing often beautiful However The problem was with the plot and the characters you know, two minor things in a book The suspense of finding out about Meredith and her son were enough to keep me reading til the end, but they turned out to be a side story that was or less forgotten in the quickly paced end of the nove [...]

    6. If I had to sum up my feelings toward this book in one word, that word would be apathetic.The premise sounded good Post WWI era in London, one of the first female lawyers struggling to make her mark, the murder of a newly wed young woman, the accused her new husband Family drama, court drama and love drama all wrapped up in one novel.It wasn t that the writing was bad, or that the story was necessarily bad I was most interested in the mystery part of it all , it was just that I was so incredibly [...]

    7. There s obviously something about pioneer women that gets under McMahon s skin In The Rose of Sebastopol it was Florence Nightingale and the first female nurses In this its the first female lawyers Again an area I know nothing about and was delighted to learn.Its also about taking on an independent role, usually the man s role, and using individual character to succeed against the odds, the law, the establishment It also deals with real human emotions grief, guilt, love, fear in a way that is t [...]

    8. SUSPENSE THRILLER MYSTERY CONFLICT.FEMALE EMPOWERMENT JUSTICE EQUALITY.FAMILY LOYALTY SADNESS.LOVE BETRAYAL ROMANCE PASSION TRUST.When you visit a bookshop and see the front end stands littered with fluffy pink books that revolve around the deary existence of a shopaholic, an imbecile involve with the undead, or pervy billionaires out there to dominate you and of course the height of every woman s ambition is the be the chosen prize of the fattest meal ticket regardless that you couldn t possibl [...]

    9. I got this book as a first read, and I guess I expected a lame book in desperate need of publicity Not so The Crimson Rooms is extremely well written and grabbed me from page one In fact, I stayed up all last night, trying to finish it.Our heroine is a female junior law clerk in 1924 London, one of the first few women admitted to the bar Her entire family is a frozen tableau of grief for her younger brother, Jamie, killed in WWI, and her father, who, heart broken, drank himself to death She live [...]

    10. Loved this As a lawyer who never practiced, I was appalled at the way women lawyers were treated in the 1920s in the UK, though not really surprised was astonished too, that not once in the years I studied law did the history of lawyers form any part of the curriculum The key theme in this book was what happens to those who survive after a major war catastrophe Evelyn, the main protagonist, has lost a beloved brother, and aside from the continuing tragic effect of his death on her family, she ha [...]

    11. I won this book from the First Reads program here on and it really sounded promising But I ve been having terrible luck with historical fiction recently and unfortunately, The Crimson Rooms has fallen into that stigma.First, let me say that I love historical fiction books They usually allow me to be immersed in a time period that I would never have been a part of and they have the added element of teaching me something that I didn t previously know But the thing with The Crimson Rooms was that i [...]

    12. I received this in a pre release giveaway from GP Putnam s, and I am so glad that I did The introduction to this story was very quick and abrupt a major life event happening to the characters before we even knew their names This bothered me at first, but as I got further into the story it came around and I don t think it would have worked any other way.This story follows Evelyn, one of the first female lawyers in London, post WWI While dealing with the loss of her brother to war, her entire fami [...]

    13. The Crimson Rooms is a tragedy style historical set in 1924 in England It also contained a mystery and a romance The characters were complex Historical and setting details were expertly woven into the story and brought the story alive in my imagination.However, it s a depressing story Evelyn s family is stuck in their grief Her two main legal cases can t really have happy endings even if won And, due to the high post war female to male ratio and her low self image, Evelyn s desperate to have sex [...]

    14. I m very interested in the entry of women into the professions in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly the legal profession, so when I read Bibliophile s review of The Crimson Rooms, I put it on my must read list Main character Evelyn Gifford is an articled clerk, making her way into the legal profession in the post WWI world Although she s the only one bringing any income into her now all female family, rather than being appreciated, she faces disapproval for her defiance of traditional ge [...]

    15. I thoroughly enjoyed The Crimson Rooms by Katherine McMahon The author wrote in a style that emulated the period in which it was set 1924 so it took a while for me to get into it But I loved the idea of a protagonist being a young woman lawyer at a time when women were not welcome to practise and the few who had the courage and ambition to challenge the status quo were openly criticised and ostracised I appreciated that each character had their good points and flaws, in particular Evelyn who is [...]

    16. Evelyn has never stopped mourning the death of her only brother, James When a nurse shows up on her doorstep stating that the child was James s, Evelyn is then caught off guard The nurse says that they need somewhere to stay and Evelyn opens her home to the two strangers.Evelyn is an attorney who happens upon a case that one of her co workers didn t feel was important It turns out that this case hits close to home What really happened to the brother she loved Katharine is a natural I read this [...]

    17. Such an enjoyable novel, quietly suspenseful and as full of pent up emotion as hoydenish Americans imagine early 20th century British ladies to be How many people aren t what they seem How many ways are there to sacrifice oneself for something or for nothing It s a multi layered story of the struggles between people s higher and lower selves, the classes, and the sexes in the aftermath of the first World War The most enjoyable novel I ve read all year, and I d recommend it to anyone who enjoys s [...]

    18. Really good surprised me Set in England a few years after the end of WWI, it is told by Evelyn, a woman grieving for her brother, lost in the war, and for her own life, shattered like so many others at the time One of the first female lawyers, she struggles with two cases in particular, a murder, and a woman threatened with losing her children Very intelligently and movingly told, and I m really hoping McMahon decides to write a follow up at some pointA just visited her FB page, and she is indee [...]

    19. What I loved about this book setting London 1924 the heroine s unusual for the time career and her efforts to practice as an attorney authentic period details in fashion, socio economic concerns, and post war sensibilities I was transfixed by and transported to a time and place that is not much written about, where it was unusual for a woman to dine alone in a tea room, not to mention smoke a cigarette The relationships and actions of the characters seemed believable in context.

    20. I resorted to a Random Number Generator to pick what to read next And it pulled out this books number.The blurb sounded pretty promising, but I soon as I started it, alarm bells started ringing I couldn t connect to Evelyn, the protaganist Meredith was portrayed as manipulative horrible in a totally stereotypical wayI think this tried to be a Sarah Waters novelbut didn t quite manage it.Who knows, it might suddenly all click into place, but 150 pages in and I just cannot go on.

    21. Superb book great combination of an intriguing and at times harrowing personal story, with a compelling element of whodunnit The insight into the lives and motivations of the brave and intelligent female pioneers of the period is invaluable for me as I embark on writing a book about a head teacher belonging to this generation.

    22. Didn t do much for me I m afraida bit slow to startd never warned to any of the charactersour felt anything about themeven mild dislike might have sparked an interest.

    23. I enjoyed this while I was reading it but thought the ending was rather ridiculously overwrought.

    24. This review first appeared on my website blog at lindanewbery Set in 1924, THE CRIMSON ROOMS is very much concerned with the aftermath of the First World War, with the distinction of featuring a young female lawyer one of the first of her kind as its viewpoint character Evelyn Gifford, at thirty, shares the view of many women of her generation that she is unlikely to marry, and looks to her work for a sense of purpose and the chance to bring about change She is assistant at the law firm of Breen [...]

    25. Another book that came to me via my mum and a friend of hers, and I confess, not a book I might have picked up otherwise, so I am grateful to said friend as I really enjoyed it A heroine I could really root for great historical detail and examination of various issues not least women finding a place for themselves outside the home, and the wider impact of the war a nice dose of romance and a murder mystery that knitted together the various strands in the story together really well into a very sa [...]

    26. Several years after the end of WWI the impact of the war can still be seen This is seen in the changing, but slow to be accepted, role of women and the recovery from the loss of so many young men The book shows how even the best can be corrupted by the demands of war On the negative side, I have never run into so many bemused individuals and I don t know why, given what happened during the war, Meredith would want to live with James s family.

    27. Set in 1924 and concerning the aftermath of WW1, this is a murder, a mystery a family tale, and just a smidge of possible romance woven in there Loved it Recommended.

    28. I really enjoyed this book I bought it on a whim and I m so pleased I did A great look into life after the First World War and the struggles women as a whole went through at this time

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