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Emma McChesney and Company by Edna Ferber

Emma McChesney and Company (edition 2014)

by Edna Ferber

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Title:Emma McChesney and Company
Authors:Edna Ferber
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014), Paperback, 76 pages
Collections:Your library

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Emma McChesney and Co. by Edna Ferber



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Edna Ferber’s third and final book about savvy career woman Emma McChesney entertained me at least as much as the previous two, beginning with a flurry of excitement in the first chapter. After spending the last 15 years traveling between small Midwest towns or living in New York City, Emma sets off on a boat trip down the coast of the continent to sell her T. A. Buck Featherloom petticoats and skirts in Argentina, where she takes the country by storm. Based on the last two books I knew romance was headed Emma’s way, but she’d been so determinedly independent I wasn’t sure I would like it--I did.

Along with being good stories these books charmed and fascinated me by presenting a lively picture of how people lived, thought, worked, played, dressed, traveled, raised their children, and fell in love 100 years ago during the early decades of the 1900’s. In one chapter Emma was forced to deal with wealthy lady organizers bent promoting their pet cause, which wasn’t “Votes for women” as I had guessed, but instead a self-righteous insistence based on their rigid uneven morality that working class “girls” must be convinced to dress with drab unassuming modesty as befits their station. I would have been disappointed if Emma turned out to be an anti-suffragette, but Emma was right to poke a little good natured fun at these women.

Ferber wrote all three Emma McChesney novels long enough ago that they’re in the public domain so ebook versions can be downloaded from sites like Project Gutenberg. I listened to superbly narrated audio versions available on the Libravox website that made me almost enjoy my commute--I had witty Emma and her adventures to keep me occupied. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Nov 13, 2014 |
Emma McChesney, single mom and former traveling saleswoman, has climbed the corporate ladder and is now a partner in a women's clothing firm. Rather than rest on her laurels, she expands her market to South America and designs a new skirt when the fashions change. A series of sketches shows Emma as she settles in to a new life.

This is the third book in the series and is less compelling than the other two. The best parts of the book are when Emma muses on the issues that absorb working women--work vs. marriage, clothes and relationships vs. the job. These were fun to read, though. ( )
  Bjace | Jan 30, 2014 |
Read on the Kindle. Spoilers there could be. This is a set of connected stories about Emma McChesney, who made a bad marriage and built herself a career as a single woman with a son. She is a heroine, without much shading or complexity. She raised her son right, she built a career with her skill and heart and brain. The first story tells of her trip to develop a market in Argentina for the underclothes that her firm sells, leaving her somewhat feckless boss to take care of things at home; he learns he can do the job well & likes it so when she comes back they have to readjust, and get married. Another story tells of them at work before they get married, and one tells of her taking 3 months off & hating it, and so on. It is fine. Old-fashioned over-writing, and as I said, without much contrast.
  franoscar | Jul 5, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0252070887, Paperback)

Edna Ferber, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Show Boat and Giant", achieved her first great success with a series of stories featuring Emma McChesney: a smart, stylish, divorced mother who in a mere twelve years rose from stenographer to traveling sales representative to business manager and partner of the T. A. Buck Featherloom Petticoat Company. In this final of three volumes chronicling the travels and trials of Emma McChesney, first published in 1915, Emma's son, Jock, has moved to Chicago with his new wife. Struggling with a newly emptied nest, Emma dives into a whirlwind South American sales tour to prove she hasn't lost her touch.Back in New York, Emma and her business partner, T. A. Buck Jr., try to disguise their budding romance from colleagues. After months of acting like a 'captain of finance when he feels like a Romeo', T. A. convinces Emma they should marry. Emma tries to 'be what the yellow novels call a doll-wife' but trades in her fancy dressing gowns for more sensible business suits and heads back to the office. With one hand writing advertising copy and the other wrapped around a pair of shears, Emma saves the company from financial peril amid the arrival of some flustering, if exciting, news from Jock. By turns sales pro, newlywed, fashion maven, and anxious grandmother, Emma symbolizes the ideal woman at the dawn of the twentieth century: sharp, capable, charming, and progressive. "Emma McChesney and Co." is enhanced by the illustrations of James Montgomery Flagg, one of the most highly regarded book illustrators of the period.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:04 -0400)

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