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The Queen of the Night
by Alexander Chee


Overview - National Bestseller

"This book is a glorious performance . . . Enveloping, seductive." --Karen Russell


From a writer praised by Junot Diaz as "the fire, in my opinion, and the light," a mesmerizing novel that follows one woman's rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned diva

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer's chance at immortality.
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More About The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
 
 
 
Overview
National Bestseller

"This book is a glorious performance . . . Enveloping, seductive." --Karen Russell


From a writer praised by Junot Diaz as "the fire, in my opinion, and the light," a mesmerizing novel that follows one woman's rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned diva

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer's chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all. As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress's maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue. Featuring a cast of characters drawn from history, The Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves ever closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation -- or destroy her with the secrets it reveals.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780618663026
  • ISBN-10: 0618663029
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
  • Publish Date: February 2016
  • Page Count: 576
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Historical - General
Books > Fiction > Biographical

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-10-26
  • Reviewer: Staff

Chees lush and sweeping second novel uses a strikingly different setting from Edinburgh, his accomplished debut, but shares its musical themes and boldness. In 1882 Paris, the soprano known as Lilliet Berne is a celebrated opera star with an unforgettable but vulnerable voice. When a stranger offers her the chance to originate a new operas leading role, she discovers that the work retells her scandalous hidden history. As she attempts to discover which of four individuals from her past revealed her secrets, she recalls the circus troupe in which she first performed, her days as a servant to Frances Empress Eugénie, and her time as a prostitute. Chee memorably depicts the shifting fortunes of France and historical figures including Napoleon IIIwhose wife, Eugénie, and her rival, the Countess di Castiglione, play pivotal roles in Lilliets storyand George Sand. But opera as much as history shapes the novel, with nods to The Magic Flute among other works. Though the momentum flags in the books lengthy central sections, Chees voice, at once dreamy and dramatic, never falters; Lilliets cycle of reinventions is a moving meditation on the transformative power of fate, art, time, and sheer survival. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency. (Feb.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews