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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet comes a powerful novel, inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.

For 12-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World's Fair feels like a gift. But only once he's there, amid the exotic exhibits, fireworks, and Ferris wheels, does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off - a healthy boy "to a good home".

The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam's precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever known - and against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he's always desired.

But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love.

Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle's second World's Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters.

Against a rich backdrop of post-Victorian vice, suffrage, and celebration, Love and Other Consolation Prizes is an enchanting tale about innocence and devotion - in a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale.

©2017 Jamie Ford (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Ford is a master at shining light into dark, forgotten corners of history and revealing the most unexpected and relatable human threads.... A beautiful and enthralling story of resilience and the many permutations of love." (Jessica Shattuck, author of The Women in the Castle)
"An evocative, heartfelt, beautifully crafted story that shines a light on a fascinating, tragic bit of forgotten history." (Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible listen

Not only was the story so fantastic I found myself wondering what the characters were doing when we were apart, but the performance was equally fantastic. Sometimes a reader can distract me from the story if the performance is off but that was not the case, at all! Zeller brought each character out of Ford’s perfectly written tale and kissed life into them! I couldn’t believe how quickly I had listened to it! So, I listened to it again. I didn’t want the book to end! I became so invested in each character I wanted to be privy to the next chapter of their lives.... and the next and the next.
Ford has the ability to pluck a moment in history and weave an entire life out of it for his characters and for you! Lucky us!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

lovely.....simply lovely and poignant

Not only does the author draw beautiful landscapes and characters with his words, but he gently leads you onto a winding path of history, culture and fiction where you don't know what is fact or fiction. You won't be disappointed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sweet read

loved it!! every once in a while you need to read a sweet book about true love at first sight. this is it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Intriguing. Hard to put down.

It opened my eyes to another lifestyle and the good and bad aspects of life. I found myself wanting to listen at every opportunity.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A sad, beautiful tale

Ford writes another touchingly, painful novel filled with colorful characters. The love between Ernest, Maisy, and Gracie is complicated by the dark setting of the Garment District. The narration flows well. I enjoyed the book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

it was just okay. Not as good as u hoped.

i struggled to stay with it. kinda boring. was dissapointed and hoping for more to it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Great Story by Jamie Ford

Ford writes about a time in the history of our country, exposing the good, the bad, and the ugly. But his characters are so interesting, wonderfully developed. Can’t put his books down and when they end, I am left with a warm feeling and a smile. Thank you, Jamie Ford.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent story

This book entwines history with a tale that is gut wrenching and yet lovely. The characters are fascinating and brought to life.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable!

This was one of those comforting books that you look forward to following the characters on their journey wherever it leads. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, and seeing them grow and mature. Historically, it seems impossible that society, in our own country, and not that long ago, permitted such treatment of children! However, it gave me pause to consider the unfortunate and appalling situations that continue to plague our country’s children even today.
Usually, I deplore books with “flashbacks, flash forwards, and flashbacks again.” This author, however, did it seamlessly with ease.
All this being said, I did think the last few chapters dragged on a bit. Overall, I enjoyed the story. I just wish the author had “juiced it up a bit” throughout. There was opportunity for some funny situations that were lost on this author. The narration was done very well except for the male voice of Ernest, which just didn’t feel right. Asian characters should have Asian narrators!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • jt
  • United States
  • 01-17-18

Never ending

At chapter 37 I thought it was ending but NO on it went
Never ending and drag on to sheer boredom..narration was OK