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A Race to Splendor
A Race to Splendor
Author: Ciji Ware
Set in the tumultuous aftermath of San Francisco’s devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, and based on the lives of several women apprenticed to famed Julia Morgan, California’s first licensed woman architect, this historical novel tells of the fiercely-fought competition between Nob Hill hotels to re-open their doors by the first ann...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781402222696
ISBN-10: 1402222696
Publication Date: 4/1/2011
Pages: 528
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 8

3.6 stars, based on 8 ratings
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed A Race to Splendor on + 35 more book reviews
This book is at its most interesting when it is describing the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the architectural techniques used at the time. The love story is less engrossing. The constant obstacles thrown at the couple and at their rebuilding of a hotel become tiring after a while. The villain in the book is so completely evil that he is one-dimensional and not very believable. However, I did enjoy more of this book than I disliked. The female architects are intriguing characters; their "rivalry" is fairly collegial, but still interesting.
reviewed A Race to Splendor on + 8 more book reviews
This book wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but I still enjoyed reading it. I was expecting it to be mainly about the rivalry between two female architects in the aftermath of the 1906 quake, but it ended up being more of a romance. The main character is a woman who just graduated from a prestigious architecture school in Paris and has moved back to San Francisco to work for her old school friend, Julia Morgan, who is the only female architect in the city. While there is a rivalry between the two women, it is a reluctant one, and much more of the book is devoted to the rebuilding of a hotel, and the main character's relationship with the hotel owner.
Julia Morgan was a real person and I've seen some of her buildings in San Francisco. Being from San Francisco, I really enjoyed the parts of the book describing what the city was like back then and the process of rebuilding the city. Well-researched and well-written, but I would have liked more history and less romance.

Book Wiki

Common Title
Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
People/Characters
Amelia Hunter Bradshaw (Primary Character)
Julia Morgan (Major Character)

Genres: