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3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  142 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
In turn-of-the-century London, an exemplary Victorian wife begins a noble-minded project: writing letters to a lonely local prisoner. What happens next in this brilliantly crafted novel of literary suspense will change Emma Smith’s life forever—and ignite a dark, erotic drama of suspicion, loss, and awakening.

In the year 1898, Emma makes a New Year’s resolution: to become
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Delta (first published January 1st 2006)
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Christie Jackson
Oct 26, 2015 Christie Jackson rated it really liked it
I started reading this novel with reservations based upon reviews, but I am glad I completed it. This author did a masterful job of dishing up surprises, twists and turns at the end that caught me by surprise; and made me want to read more of Baratz-Logsted's work.
Aug 21, 2009 Megan rated it did not like it
Technically, I didn't finish this one ~ just skimmed through it. Once I got midway through, I just couldn't bear to read any more, but wanted to see how it turned out. I get that the Baratz-Logsted is trying to make this sound as if it were written at the end of the 19th century. And I can appreciate the flowery language & drawn out passages. But the story never actually picks up ~ the reader sees very little action as it is happening. Action is all very vaguely preluded to, then mused over ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Be careful whom you trust would sum up the moral of this story. This is a book that will truly make you think. The heroine, Emma, is a wife and mother in the Victorian times, and literally lives for her husband and her son, never herself. The reader will understand and feel compassionate towards her as she faces life in what seems like a fancy birdcage. In seventeen years of marriage, the woman has never had an orgasm. I daresay, that alone would give us modern women a reason to kill our husband ...more
Mary Flamingo
Oct 06, 2007 Mary Flamingo rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: a person I didn't like
This book is wretched. It drove me crazy with what a waste of print it is! I couldn't get past the first 50 pages because my brain was screaming in agony. Treat it as if it were a giant pig of burning dog poop. You don't want to touch or get near.
May 08, 2014 Jami rated it really liked it
I think I'm rating everything at 4 stars...hmmm...not sure if that's good or bad.

I love reading stories where women, traditionally taught to be weak, learn to become strong and learn what it is to be a women. This book was that and more.
Only checked this out of the library because Baratz-Logsted wrote it. Only finished it because I convinced myself that it's good to read things that suck so that things I write don't suck.
Steph Su
Jun 04, 2009 Steph Su rated it did not like it
Ugh. The back of the book made it sound interesting: an erotic tale of forbidden love in Victorian England between a proper wife and a convict. Boy, was it wrong. VERTIGO was gossipy drivel and characterless events ping-ponging one after the other with no sense of foreseeable point and end.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Mrs. Emma Smith makes a resolution to be a better person. Her novelist husband, John, whom she has known since they were little, decides that the way she is to go about th
Jul 06, 2016 Brandi rated it really liked it
I became totally engrossed in this story. I highly recommend it - but only if you don't mind some slightly explicit sexual content...
Jan 22, 2014 Meaghan rated it liked it
this was a strange story... the ending was interesting - i felt like the main character turned rather conniving and crazy. not my favorite book by this author.
Feb 08, 2010 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
This was really different from the other, more traditional chick lit, books I've read from Lauren Baratz-Logsted. I enjoyed it, but did find the end somewhat dissatisfying. I was really intrigued into what was going to happen, and sort of figured out what was happening to the main character at about the halfway point. Not totally predictable, though, because I didn't totally get it right.

In short, it was good although not great.
Robyn Melhuish
Apr 05, 2008 Robyn Melhuish rated it liked it
This book had me thinking about it even when I wasn't reading! I kept trying to guess where the plot was going, but none of my suspiscions were correct. I loved the unpredictable story, but after coming up with so many possible conclusions, I was a bit disappointed with the actual ending.
May 23, 2007 Michelle rated it really liked it
Very, very fast read about a privileged Victorian woman who begins corresponding with a prisoner to "be a better person." Gripping and salacious and lots of twists and turns. Plus, the author is a really cool chick!
Oct 05, 2009 Kimberly rated it it was ok
If this book had been more focused on the mystery and suspense and less focused on the bodice ripper scenes it could have been interesting book. Kind of a good plot twist at the end.
Aug 16, 2007 Nienke rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-pleasure
This is an awesome book, aptly titled because it is so full of surprises it leaves the reader with vertigo! The main character is loveable and I couldn't put the story down.
Jul 12, 2010 Jean rated it it was ok
This is a pretty good chick/beach book with lots of plot in the second half. Some of the characters did not exactly work, but it is a page turner.
Sara Goldenberg
May 29, 2016 Sara Goldenberg rated it did not like it
She's a talented author and I enjoyed her first books. Since then, she's written in genres that don't interest me.
Jan 20, 2008 Naomi rated it liked it
This book is a little more sordid than I usually read, but I must admit that I did like it.
Jan 27, 2008 Kelly rated it really liked it
Just started it this morning... but so far so good!
Elizabeth Esse
Aug 23, 2008 Elizabeth Esse rated it really liked it
I loved this book!
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Rachel Turner
Rachel Turner marked it as to-read
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Diane Persche
Diane Persche rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2016
Gina added it
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Jun 09, 2016
Sandy Yablonski
Sandy Yablonski rated it it was amazing
May 26, 2016
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Lauren grew up in Monroe, CT, where her father owned a drugstore at which her mother was the pharmacist. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where she majored in psychology. She also has what she calls her “half-Masters” in English from Western Connecticut State University (five courses down, another five to go…someday!).

Throughout college, she worked semester breaks as a
More about Lauren Baratz-Logsted...

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