The Girls at the Kingfisher Club: A Novel

Hardcover | June 3, 2014

byGenevieve Valentine

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From award-winning author Genevieve Valentine, a "gorgeous and bewitching" (Scott Westerfeld) reimagining of the fairytale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as flappers during the Roaring Twenties in Manhattan.

Jo, the firstborn, "The General" to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night, as they slip out of the confines of their father’s townhouse to await the cabs that will take them to the speakeasy. Together they elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off.

The girls, meanwhile, continue to dance, from Salon Renaud to the Swan and, finally, the Kingfisher, the club they come to call home. They dance until one night when they are caught in a raid, separated, and Jo is thrust face-to-face with someone from her past: a bootlegger named Tom whom she hasn’t seen in almost ten years. Suddenly Jo must weigh in the balance not only the demands of her father and eleven sisters, but those she must make of herself.

With The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, award-winning writer Genevieve Valentine takes her superb storytelling gifts to new heights, joining the leagues of such Jazz Age depicters as Amor Towles and Paula McClain, and penning a dazzling tale about love, sisterhood, and freedom.

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From the Publisher

From award-winning author Genevieve Valentine, a "gorgeous and bewitching" (Scott Westerfeld) reimagining of the fairytale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as flappers during the Roaring Twenties in Manhattan.Jo, the firstborn, "The General" to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is t...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 1.1 inPublished:June 3, 2014Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476739080

ISBN - 13:9781476739083

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The Girls at the Kingfisher Club one NO SIR, THAT’S NOT MY GAL 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 Princess. “Hey, Princess, dust off your shoes? It’s the Charleston!” The men would have called them anything they wanted to be called, Dollface or Queenie or Beloved, just to get one girl on the dance floor for a song. But in that flurry of short dresses and spangles and ribbon-tied shoes, Princess was the name that suited; it seemed magical enough, like maybe it was true. Wild things, these girls; wild for dancing. They could go all night without sitting, grabbing at champagne between songs, running to the throng at the table and saying something that made them all laugh, light and low together like the parts of a chorus. It wasn’t right, all those women sticking together so close. Something about the wall of bob-haired girls scared the men, though they hardly knew it. They just knew they’d better dance their best with a Princess, and no mistake. No need to worry, though, as long as a man could dance. The nights were long and drink was cheap, and sometimes the Princesses’ smiles were red-lipped and happy and not sharp white flashing teeth, and there were so many that if one of them turned down a dance, it was easy to wait and try again with another one. “Princess, pass me a waltz?” Some men never noticed their full numbers. (It was hardly fair to even ask a man to count; there were two pairs of twins—or three, hard to say—and it was easy to get confused.) They moved in little packs, two and three at a time, and it was tough to keep track. Some men thought there were only ten, or nine. The younger ones, boys just out from under their mothers’ noses, saw only the one they loved in the crowd. The older men understood how that mistake could happen—one had golden hair, one had bright green eyes, one had a swan’s neck; together they were intoxicating—but there was no point. The girls were wild for dancing, and nothing else. No hearts beat underneath those thin, bright dresses. They laughed like glass. The coldest one looked like someone had dragged a statue out for the night, as if she would scratch out your eyes if you so much as looked at her sideways. No man was fool enough to ask her to dance. No reason to die young when there were eleven others. There were willing sisters who smelled like 4711, or Shalimar, or smoke; always some sweet ones who closed their eyes and revealed dark pencil along their lashes, who laughed when a partner swung them around, who grinned and touched a man’s shoe with her own when they tapped back and forth. No need to worry about battleaxes when a man had a girl who could light up the floor. No need to worry about loving one when all of them would be back tomorrow night. No need for names at all, so long as when a fellow called her “Princess,” she said, “Yes.” Turned out it was just as well, not knowing, once the newspapermen came asking.

Editorial Reviews

Unique and elegant... An artful book that asks important questions about art and creation that you'll be left pondering long after you've closed the last page."