A Race to Splendor
"Blindly, she inched along a floor pitching as violently as the deck of a boat in a midwinter storm. Her hands touched the threshold opening onto the ninth floor foyer at the instant the glass transom over her head exploded into a thousand pieces. Reflexively, Amelia cast her right arm in front of her face, but not before blood spurted from her scalp and ran down her chec...more
There are some excellent descriptions of San Francisco, the earthquake and the rebuilding. I could also well believe the grafting and other illegalities that went on during that period. Such practices went on in several of America's cities during...more
Ms. Ware's breathtaking descriptions of San Francisco and the surrounding landscapes had me in awe. The tragic love story was beautiful and sweet. Ms. Bradshaw and Mr. Thayer were truly loveable characters that persevered through a love that was fraught with peril and professionally forb...more
I knew of the existence of architect Julia Morgan but little else and whilst she didn't inspire my affection in Race to Splendor, Ciji Ware certainly inspired me to read a little more about this histori...more
A Race To Splendor begins in early 1906 with Amelia Bradshaw returning to San Francisco after completing her degree in architecture from the distinguished L ‘ Ecole des Beaux Arts in France. She is returning under both exciting and devastating circumstances: she hopes to land a position in the architectural firm of her friend and mentor Julia Morgan (in actuality the first woman to graduate with a degree in architecture from the same Pari...more
So, yes, I loved A Race to Splendor, which is the story of a fictional architect named Amelia Hunter Bradshaw. It's 1906, and upon her grandfather's death, Amelia returns to San Francisco to claim her inheritance: the Bay View Hotel, only to find her drunken father has gambled it away to a one Mr. James Diaz Thayer.
After then eventu...more
This book had everything I love, a strong woman, an equally strong man, headbutting, that ends in a love story... it was perfect. Ciji Ware definitely knows how to write a prominent historical novel with just the right amounts of drama, romance, history, and excitement. I fully intend to look for more of her works in the near future. The author constantly amazed me with her knowledge of the history in the early 1900's and just how hard it was for a woma...more
It's 1906 and Amelia comes home to San Francisco from France with a degree in architecture only to discover that her dr...more
A few days later the earthquake and fire reduce the hotel to ashes. As a fully trained architect, Amelia's services are suddenly very much wanted especially by J.D.Thayer.
A mixture of feminism, minority racism, prejudices and a city rising fr...more
Luckily, A Race to Splendor caught me on one of my rare sappy moods, and as a result, I was massively entertained by Ciji W...more
But remember, I did say that I liked it. I knew almost nothing about th...more
Amelia Hunter Bradshaw returns from completing her architect degree in Paris to find her drunken, irresponsible father has gambled away the Bay View Hotel, which her deceased grandfather left to her. To add insult to injury, her father lost the hotel to the disreputable J.D. Thayer,...more
The second half of the book was more or less a romance novel (minus all the steamy scenes). The switch was a bit jarring for me, to be completely honest, and while I loved th...more
The San Francisco earthquake took the lives of approximately 3000 people and left more than 200,000 homeless.
The book also tells the story of Julia Morgan, a woman architect, who is far ahead of her time. In a world that generally did not accept women to have educations let alone enter a man's world as a professional architect.
Julia Morgan is a real person of history who studied and graduated from Ecole...more
This was my first book by Ware and I certainly hope it will not be my last because it was a good one. It's set against the backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the fires that destroyed much of the city. Early on tragedy strikes and then we get to see how the city is rebuilt. Or should we say how two hotels are rebuilt.
Ware took the real historical character of Julia Morgan and let her finish her Fairmont hotel, and then she created the main character and let her work for...more
I wasn't as impressed with the last 1/3 of the book. I found Amelia to be self-righteous, and extremely opinionated based on false assumptions (I lo...more
rebuilding a city from ashes to splendor. This is the the story of two women,the destruction and rebuilding of San Francisco,and the people whose lives where changed forever. History and fiction is interwined to create an interesting and compel...more
I especially liked the fact the one of the actual architects involved in the rebuilding of the city was a woman, which wa...more
"The following day, Thursday, hundreds of individual fires across some five hundred city blocks converged into one monstrous inferno fed by super-heated winds. By Friday evening, both the sun and the moon glowed a malignant blood red."
Has a strong woman protagonist, fighting to prove herself as a female engineer & architect in a man's world (early 1900's). The background of the 1906 California fire is central to the theme of the story.
Very true to form in descr...more
The first part of "Esplendor" lived up to my expectations. The portraits of life and society in San Francisco at the time are vivid and detailed. The descriptions of the changing building techniques seem acurate and are also understandable to the lay reader.
My attention started to waver in the second h...more