City of Light by Lauren Belfer was published in 1999 – and I am sorry I missed it!! this was a tremendous book, especially for summer beach reads with a little bit of everything! Factually historical, wonderful romantic/tragic tale, interesting plot, mystery and story, excellent writing for a great read. Takes place in Buffalo NY in the early 1900s, you will feel right at home after reading Devil in the White City. Some similarities, but much more intricate story, much more academic. This does involve academic life, but also the electrifying of cities and houses (and businesses). The revelations and secrets were fairly obvious to me, but the facts on Niagara falls, electricity, girls schools, power struggles in class, society and between male/female is ever present. I read this one because I had heard of her newest book, which wasn’t available from the library yet.
The opening, and closing will grab you, make you pause, reconsider and think on it for several days.
“I am lucky: I know what people say about me. To some I am a bluestocking: a woman too intellectual to find a husband. To others I am an old maid, though I do not consider myself old and I am no maiden.” “Self knowledge as the greeks might say, the only knowledge worth having.” Louisa Barrett 1909.
I will be looking for her latest fiction, to be sure. (A Fierce Radiance, 2010)