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To All Appearances a Lady
 
by
Marilyn Bowering
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To All Appearances a Lady

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
To All Appearances a Lady is Marilyn Bowering’s haunting, evocative debut novel and one of her most loved and memorable works.

As Robert Lam sets off on his voyage up the coast of Vancouver Island, the last passenger he expects is a ghost. But when the spirit of Lam Fam—the woman who raised him—suddenly and mysteriously appears, the trip they embark on initiates a quest for
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published 1990 by Hamish Hamilton (first published September 27th 1989)
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Cynthia
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An English teacher recommended this book to me many years ago. I loved it then, and I love it now. Robert Louis Lam(b) journeys up and down the BC coast in an old boat, the Rose, eerily accompanied by his stepmother, Lam Fan. Through intersecting timelines, he explores his own stifled past while learning about the mostly unfortunate lives of his mother, India, his namesake, Robert Louis Haack, and his Chinese father whose identity has been kept a secret. Slow to capture my interest at first, the ...more
Beverley
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I had a really hard time getting into this and in fact put it down after about 30 pages. But I live in Victoria so I eventually picked it up again. It's not as face-paced as I usually like my stories but it is interesting reading about this part of the world and imagining these familiar locations so different. I would recommend it, but perhaps not enthusiastically.
Kim
Sep 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Haunting, well-written, and very geographically aware, as a lover of the west coast of Canada, I could place myself in the locations of each chapter and section. The story was beautiful and sad, though at times it was hard for me to get my mind around Lam Fan. I loved all the loose ends being tied up at the end, though a new one is created on the last page that I didn't mind at all.
Carol
Nov 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
I picked this book because it is fiction written by a poet. There are many passages that I reread because the language is wonderful but overall I don't think the premise of the story holds together. It looks like a good idea that in the end doesn't work. I finished the book, slowly, I kept hoping some turn would bring it wonderfully together.
Jill
Apr 13, 2012 marked it as to-read
This book is excellently-written (based on the first 50 pages). But too much going on, feeling very scattered. I'm floundering around for another book to suit my mood; otherwise, I won't give this one justice.
Beryl Johnson
As a west coaster really enjoyed the local references and history. This is a bit of a slow read but I enjoyed it. As someone said it is like having a poet write a novel.
Sondra
Mar 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
A great story which takes place in Victoria and James Island when it was a leper colony, circa 1890+.
Linda
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the book especially that it was about Vancouver island, Victoria.
Mariana
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This page-turner-to-the-end tells the story of a half-Chinese boat captain, the Chinese community in Victoria. B.C., leprosy and opium.
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Deborah
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Victoria vacation read: local author, local flavor, local haunts.
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