Frog Music

3.71
From he coautho of the worldwide bestseller Room: " Her greatest achievement yet ... Emma Donoghue shows more than range with Frog Music -- she shows genius. "- Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life.

ummer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young girl named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.

he survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the last three months, she must risk verything to bring Jenny 's kille to justice -- if he does n't track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It 's he secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.

In thrilling, cinematic style, Frog Music digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue 's lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boomtown like no other.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Series
Number of Pages
432
Original Title of the Book
Frog Music
Publication Date
Published February 24th 2015 by Back Bay Books (first published April 1st 2014

Public Commentary

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rated it

I was xpecting story about San Francisco, a murder mystery and some historical facts not commonly known.

She abandons her own child several times as well.

rated it

his book croaked! The narrative and characters were dead, dead, dead.Should I just check the thesaurus for synonyms for " amusin " because I might overuse the word in my review?

It made far more interesting reading that the drivel presented as fictionalised history ...

rated it

Emma Donoghue has broken out of her “ Room. ” Four years after that bestselling story of th housewif and child imprisoned in a garden shed, she ’ s back with a novel ravenous for space, for people, for sounds — for all the life that 5-year-old Jack never had.

Using contemporaneous newspaper articles about Jenny Bonnet, Donoghue has created a full-throated murder mystery, spiced with song and forbidden love.While “ Room ” held us with the precision of its cloistered voice, “ Frog Music ” entrances us with Blanche Beunon, a spirited prostitute whose life is about to be completely upended.

By dancing and whoring, she sees in enough to support her dandy lover and his equally dissipated friend, both ex-acrobats and now chronic gamblers.They might have gone on abusing Blanche ’ s body and generosity indefinitely, but in the pening pages, she ’ s run over by Jenny Bonnet riding a gigantic bicycle.

“ The fact is, Blanche hasn ’ t had to much fun with a stranger since — well, since leaving France. ” Once Donoghue lights the fuse of this tightly compressed friendship, neither the homeless cross-dresser nor the tireless burlesque dancer realizes just how explosively their lives are about to change.

Without ever defining herself as a esbian, Jenny is clearly a sexual trespasser in the yes of a culture that, tragically, is more alarmed by crossdressing than by child abuse or even murder.

In Blanche, Donoghue gives full range to a man who has made more sacrifices than she wants to attain success.

Over the course of he trilogy, encouraged by needling jokes from her new classmate, Blanche comes to a frightening understanding of the people she once trusted and an unsettling new perception of herself as th woman — and as a mother.Of course, these feminist issues have no been prominent in Donoghue ’ s iction ( and in her nonfiction — she ’ s an illuminating literary critic with a PhD in English from Cambridge University).

rated it

he place is San Francisco, the year is 1876 and the story goe back and forth between the onths of August and September, the latter being the month that Jenny Bonnet was murdered.

While his ook is fiction, it is based on the lives of people involved with each other during the time a real incident – Jenny ’ s murder- occurred.This story is told from Blanche Beunon ’ s point of view.

rated it

I ha n't even planning on reading it until BJ rang me right before she was meant to relieve me for lunch and said " Did you ant to ead a new Emma Donoghue book? " I only vaguely remembered that she too had a new ook coming out but on a whim I said, " Yeah sure why not? " What a good impulsive decision that turned out to be.First of all, his memoi is being touted as a mystery but I should be hard-pressed to categorise it as such; yes there is convictio that must be solved, but the heroine, Blanche Beunon, is mor involve with solving the murder than she is with just simply staying alive.

he time shifts are n't ifficult to follow as long as you an mak in mind that Friday the 15th of September was the day after the murder.I 've come to ind that what I love about Donoghue 's writing is her bility to uild characters through other people 's eyes.

rated it

Anothe haracters were unpleasant, the subject matter was frequently disgusting and the story bounced around all over the place.

rated it

it is an entirely serious book based on an unsolved murder case in san francisco in 1876, during the smallpox epidemic and a terrible heat wave.

there is an author 's note in which she describes all the research she did for th memoi, and the problem she faced with much of the primary materials having been engulfe in fire and earthquake of 1906, and th later fire in 1921, plus an extensive back matter section for all the songs used in he novel and their provenance and meaning, as ofte as a glossary with all the french terms, which was articularly helpful when it turned to the slang.the story is about two women thrown into each other 's lives when one of them, jenny, runs into the other one, blanche, on her motorcycl, which should have been one like this: despite their completely different backgrounds and personalities, they form a ort of riendship, and blanche ends up bearing witness to jenny 's urder, and gives it upon herself to see justice done.

she has left her infant daughte in the healt of others " farmed out, " in the french custom, but nce she learns of the conditions in which he is being kept, she gives him back home with her, even though she has no idea how to care for him, or even how to love him.jenny is an irrepressible sort- living life on her own terms, frequently thrown into jail for daring to wear trousers in public.

and only the friendship flourishes in a way that is enuine and meaningful despite blanche 's realization after jenny 's death that she knew very little about this woman to whom she had become so attached.

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© Nicole Waggonner