Rosina Lippi's Reviews > The Wilde Women

The Wilde Women by Paula Wall
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's review
Jan 18, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, reviewed-here

Another southern town dominated by a family of beautiful, smart, sexually provocative, self-assured women. Five Points Tennessee has been brought low by the depression, but the residents retain their abiding interest in the Wilde sister's fight over Bourne Cavanagh, the heir to a legendary whiskey distillery empire, and the man who Pearl leaves at the altar to travel the world.

Her younger sister Kat stays behind, the star employee at the shirt factory. She's self confident enough to rebuff Mason Hughes, the factory owner, while she leads a secret life of the mind. Then Pearl sashays home three years after the canceled wedding in order to open a high-class bordello that will draw the state's wealthy and powerful. Pearl single-handedly turns the economy around. While Kat continues to entice but evade Mason, Pearl takes up the old battle with Bourne.

These main story lines are broken up by vignettes about the many secondary characters, ranging from the odd to the disturbing. The wryly observant, opinionated and omniscient narrator is entertaining, but overall the story is uneven and unfocused.

first written for pw

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