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The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by…

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

by Genevieve Valentine

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2881739,063 (3.97)34

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A modern retelling of the tale "12 Dancing Princesses," this story is enchanting. Twelve sisters, locked away by their father from the world, manage to find a way to escape to the nightlife of New York city in the 1920s. The story of what became of them is told with the voice and mood of the fairy tale and carries the reader away.

What a fun read! I started it on an extremely hot day when there was little else I could do because my A/C was broken and all I wanted was to sit with an icy drink in front of the fans. This book was perfect for the occasion. Because the most of the action takes place in various speakeasies in New York City during Prohibition, I thought the suitable drink would be my lemon infused gin in a gilded teacup. It was. ( )
  MrsLee | Jun 5, 2018 |
Read half of it at work, then finished it when I got home, whoops.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club is a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses fairy tale, except instead of the random stranger who stalks the girls in a magical cloak, the sisters are in the drivers seat of their own story.

You'd think with twelve major characters, it would be difficult to give each one a distinct personality (an issue I have with The Hobbit dwarves). Valentine fleshes them into more than caricatures, although I do feel like the youngest children got less detail due to screen time.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find one of the side characters is Chinese American- when introduced, they weren't racialized ("sleek, dark hair and high cheekbones that made him look like the star on a movie marquee") and I'll own up to internal systemic biases for picturing Thomas from Downton Abbey instead of recognizing a fictional brother until he pointed it out to the protagonist.

Quirks: Valentine tends to use parentheticals for secondary thoughts her characters have, or tangential after-the-facts related to the statement before.
(I recognize *I* do this when tweeting sometimes, but it's pretty noticeable here)
( )
1 vote Daumari | Dec 30, 2017 |
The Girls At the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine is a reworking of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale. The story is set during the 1920’s in New York City and the princesses in this story are twelve sisters who are controlled by a distant, unloving father who barely acknowledges them, the only child he wanted was a male heir instead he was gifted daughter after daughter. He is ashamed at not being able to produce a male heir and keeps the girls locked away.

Sneaking out and going dancing at a speakeasy is the girl’s way of defying their father. The eldest daughter, Jo, has become a mother figure to the rest, although they don’t always understand that she is only trying to protect them from their cold father. Eventually rumors of society girls out dancing and running wild in the night surface and their father decides he will pick husbands for the girls and marry them off. Knowing that he will chose men much like himself, the girls are desperate to find a way of avoiding this fate.

Although there are no fantasy elements in this story, it has a strangely removed feeling with an almost dreamlike atmosphere. The author chose to highlight the special relationship that sisters share. I believe she captured this unique bond the sisters had, the love as well as the tensions and jealousies that arise in such a close relationship. Of course, over the course of the book we come to know some of the sisters better than others as twelve distinct personalities is hard to juggle. Overall this book reminded me of the 2001 film, Moulin Rouge. I can well imagine The Girls At the Kingfisher Club being put to music and filling a large screen. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Oct 7, 2017 |
It was a good idea. Nice prose. Just not my scene. ( )
  Kaytron | Feb 28, 2017 |
Maybe it was the glare of the water or possibly the mid-afternoon cocktails, but The Girls at the Kingfisher Club enthralled me. New York in the 1920s was a city of passions. With the horrors of WWI fresh, and Prohibition locking the United States into a morality play, twelve sisters danced into the early hours. Jo, the eldest, wished to escape her father's house, but with the death of their mother she donned the matriarch hat, offering a beacon of safety. As General, Jo's nightly call of taxis to leave at midnight became their call to arms. With the dark allure of the speakeasy, and an endless parade of young men, the sequestered sisters had reasons to live.

Valentine brought forth the rush of those dangerous times, soaking the pages with flapper fever. Her poetic tale provides a keyhole into the allure of hidden dance halls, illegal jag juice, and the wanted disregard for societal constraints. It is the timeless story of freedom, draped in beads, bobs and champagne, all throbbing to the beat of the Charleston. My copy bears the waterlogged marks of pool-side splashes and sunshine joy. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club is the redemptive story you have been waiting to read.

For my complete review visit: http://goo.gl/lRH4PN " ( )
  HollyBest | Jun 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Genevieve Valentineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gabbert, ConnieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paradelo, EstherDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simeonova, IllinaCover photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my sister, and the friends who have become sisters
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By 1927 there were twelve girls who danced all night and never gave names, but by then the men had given up asking and called them all princesses.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This reimagining of the "Twelve Dancing Princesses" traces the story of a family of flappers who work in a 1920s speakeasy until their suspicious father decides to marry them off, prompting a confrontation with a bootlegger from the eldest sister's past.… (more)

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