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A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies | [Ellen Cooney]

A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies

It is 1900 in a small, prosperous Massachusetts town. Charlotte Heath, a lively, independent redhead of humble beginnings, is married to the scion of the powerful Heath family. When, on her first outing after a long illness, she spies her husband, Hays, bending to kiss another woman in the village square, impulsive Charlotte heads her horses straight out of town.
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Publisher's Summary

It is 1900 in a small, prosperous Massachusetts town. Charlotte Heath, a lively, independent redhead of humble beginnings, is married to the scion of the powerful Heath family. When, on her first outing after a long illness, she spies her husband, Hays, bending to kiss another woman in the village square, impulsive Charlotte heads her horses straight out of town. Unsure where to go but certain that she wants to leave both Hays and the stifling, if luxurious, life of the Heath household behind, Charlotte makes her way to Boston and checks in at "The Beechmont: A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies", where she makes another startling discovery: the classy Beechmont is a rather unique institution, where handsome porters make discreet, late-night visits to its all-female clientele.

Charlotte finds herself surrounded by a cast of characters that will delight the listener as she settles into life at this reverse brothel: Harry Alcorn, the hotel's dashing and prescient proprietor; Miss Berenice Singleton, the bohemian painter who holds a kind of salon in her rooms; the scowling cook, Mrs. Petty, who once worked for the Heaths and is determined that Charlotte not stay on at the Beechmont; the charming and handsome "porter" Arthur, who both gives pleasure and makes trouble; and the venerable lady doctor Lily Heath, her husband's aunt, whom Charlotte is amazed to find among the hotel's regulars.

In the midst of a dizzying sexual enlightenment, Charlotte must puzzle out why she really left Hays and why he seems to have left her first. Her task is to determine whether she can forgive him and to discover where, if anywhere, she truly belongs, an adventure that takes her farther afield than she could ever have imagined.

©2005 Ellen Cooney; (P)2005 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"Cooney's story compels." (Publishers Weekly)

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    Virginia Playa del Rey, CA, USA 02-02-06
    Virginia Playa del Rey, CA, USA 02-02-06
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    "What Was This About?"

    I was so disappointed. I took this on a 7 day cruise dreaming of lounging on the deck, pina colada in hand, plugged into iPod....
    The author (I think) is attempting to convey a message. I just kept wondering "does the author suffer from some long-term debillitating disease? Is that why she wrote about this young woman that has just barely escaped the horror of polio?

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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