If you like historical romance, then you will enjoy Ciji Ware’s A Race to Splendor. Set during and following the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, A Race to Splendor is a perfect blend of politics and tension, featuring a tempestuous romance between two complex, well-drawn characters.
I found Ware’s book on our new shelves and took a serendipity in the stacks chance on it. I found it an absorbing, intriguing historical novel. For one, it features a female architect, Amelia Bradshaw, who returns from getting her degree in Paris to find that her father has gambled away the family’s hotel to the nefarious J. D. Thayer.
While the story focuses on Amelia, Julia Morgan, a real architect at the time who made her name as one of the first female architects after the big quake also appears. Amelia knewJulia in school in Paris and works for her once she gets her engineering and architecture degree. These friends become rivals when they are commissioned to rebuild two famous hotels by the year anniversary of the quake.
A Race to Splendor is an entertaining summer read.