• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 24, 2017)
From New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper comes a novel based on the lives of two amazing sisters . . .
One sailed the Titanic and started a fashion empire . . .
The other overtook Hollywood and scandalized the world . . .
Together, they were unstoppable.
They rose from genteel poverty, two beautiful sisters, ambitious, witty, seductive. Elinor and Lucy Sutherland are at once each other’s fiercest supporters and most vicious critics.
Lucy transformed herself into Lucile, the daring fashion designer who revolutionized the industry with her flirtatious gowns and brazen self-promotion. And when she married Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon her life seemed to be a fairy tale. But success came at many costs—to her marriage and to her children . . . and then came the fateful night of April 14, 1912 and the scandal that followed.
Elinor’s novels titillate readers, and it’s even asked in polite drawing rooms if you would like to “sin with Elinor Glyn?” Her work pushes the boundaries of what’s acceptable; her foray into the glittering new world of Hollywood turns her into a world-wide phenomenon. But although she writes of passion, the true love she longs for eludes her.
But despite quarrels and misunderstandings, distance and destiny, there is no bond stronger than that of the two sisters—confidants, friends, rivals and the two “It Girls” of their day.
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Sisters, Lucy and Elinor Sutherland grew up on the sleepy island of Jersey. They were insatiably curious and had large ambitions; ambitions far bigger than the island. Upon meeting the notorious Lillie Langtry one day in their youth, the sisters decide that they will one day become much more. Through time, hard work and dedication, the two women eventually do realize their dreams. Lucy transforms into Lady Lucille Duff-Gordon fashion designer and entrepreneur extraordinaire. Elinor becomes Elinor Glyn, scandalous romance writer whose books went onto the big screen. Both Lucy and Elinor became the 'It' girls of their day; however, while both women excelled in their career goals, their dream came at a price in other areas of their life.
Elinor and Lucy quickly pulled me into their world of daring, creativity and determination. I was amazed at what these two women accomplished in their lives, especially for women living in the early 1900's. The story follows Lucy and Elinor from their youth through later life bouncing back and forth between the two women. The writing showed the 'it' factor of each woman without laying it out. Lucy had amazing grit while opening up her own fashion enterprise and ingenuity enough to make change in the fashion world. Even though I knew of Lucille Duff-Gordon, mainly through her voyage on the Titanic, I never knew of her impacts on the fashion world and how they are carried through to the present. Lucille was the first to use live models and do runway presentations, she also led the way to get women out of corsets and into more natural silhouettes. I did not know much about Elinor Glyn, but it seemed that her style of romance writing had an impact on many people. It also seemed that she made an impact on Hollywood romance as well! While the sister's careers and social standings skyrocketed, I was surprised to see that their personal and family lives took a toll. Both women struggled in marriage and didn't seem to have strong relationships with their children, often living in separate countries. This imbalance, to me, was a strong commentary on the lives of women at the time, showing that even successful, strong women had to choose either career or family. Overall, a wonderful portrait of two strong, important women in history.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author KAREN HARPER is a former Ohio State University instructor and high school English teacher. Published since 1982, she writes contemporary suspense and historical novels about real British women. Two of her recent Tudor-era books were bestsellers in the UK and Russia. Harper won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for Dark Angel, and her novel Shattered Secrets was judged one of the best books of the year by Suspense Magazine.
Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.