Frog Music

By Emma Donoghue (Trade Paperback, 2015)
From the author of the worldwide bestseller Room: "Her greatest achievement yet...Emma Donoghue shows more than range with FROG MUSIC--she shows genius." -- Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life

Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.

The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny's murderer to justice--if he doesn't track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It's the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.

In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue's lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boomtown like no other.

From the author of the worldwide bestseller Room: "Her greatest achievement yet...Emma Donoghue shows more than range with FROG MUSIC--she shows genius." -- Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life

Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.

The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny's murderer to justice--if he doesn't track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It's the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.

In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue's lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boomtown like no other.

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is an Irish emigrant twice over: she spent eight years in Cambridge doing a PhD in eighteenth-century literature before moving to London, Ontario, where she lives with her partner and their two children. She also migrates between genres, writing literary history, biography, stage and radio plays as well as fairy tales and short stories. She is best known for her novels, which range from the historical (Slammerkin, Life Mask, Landing, The Sealed Letter) to the contemporary (Stir-Fry, Hood, Landing). Her international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and was a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange Prizes. For more information, visit www.emmadonoghue.com.

  • FROG MUSIC by Emma Donoghue

  • "More fine work from one of popular fiction's most talented practitioners.... Donoghue's vivid rendering of Gilded Age San Francisco is notable for her atmospheric use of popular songs and slang in Blanche's native French, but the book's emotional punch comes from its portrait of a woman growing into self-respect as she takes responsibility for the infant life she's created." (Kirkus Reviews).

  • "Emma Donoghue shows more than range with FROG MUSIC-she shows genius. Like and unlike her stunning ROOM, this novel lifts into view a strange crime, a remarkable woman, and is a Ringling Brothers-grade feat of narrative strength. As ever, Donoghue focuses on people on the skirts of the world, who make their way outside the common middle of things. Blanche and Jenny are characters you will never forget, filmed in vibrant, cinemascope prose, and they mark Emma Donoghue's greatest achievement yet." (Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life).

  • "Donoghue's first literary crime novel is a departure from her bestselling Room, but it's just as dark and just as gripping as the latter.... Aside from the obvious whodunit factor, the book is filled with period song lyrics and other historic details, expertly researched and flushed out.... Donoghue's signature talent for setting tone and mood elevates the book from common cliffhanger to a true chef d'oeuvre." (Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)).

  • "Donoghue flawlessly combines literary eloquence and vigorous plotting in her first full-fledged mystery, a work as original and multifaceted as its young murder victim.... An engrossing and suspenseful tale about moral growth, unlikely friendship, and breaking free from the past." (Sarah Johnson, Booklist (Starred Review)).

  • "Donoghue's evocative language invades the senses.... Readers won't quickly forget this rollicking, fast-paced novel, which is based on a true story and displays fine bits of humor with underlying themes of female autonomy and the right to own one's sexual identity." (Library Journal (Starred Review)).

  • "FROG MUSIC...is very, very good. Not in the same scared-to-turn-the-page way as Room, but equally as deep, thought-provoking, and complex." (Liz French, Library Journal).

  • "Donoghue proves herself endlessly inventive....[She] nails both the period details and the atmosphere-think sweltering heat waves, dumping grounds for unwanted babies, and smallpox epidemics. This is the kind of book that will keep you up at night and make you smarter." (Julie Buntin, Cosmopolitan).

  • "A riveting murder mystery.... Fans of Emma Donoghue's previous book Room...will be shocked yet delighted by the change of pace in her new novel." (Nathan Rostron, Bookish).

  • Acclaim for Astray

    "Donoghue's imagination is kaleidoscopic.... In her hands the centuries dissolve, and then they crystallize back again into powerful words on the page." --Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
    "Redolent with historical details, Donoghue's tales are enthralling.... Each story is so complete that there's a sense of mourning as one comes to a close, but also a thrill as to what she will come up with next." --Claudia Puig, USA Today (4 Stars)

     

    Acclaim for Room:

    "Emma Donoghue's heart-stopping new novel, Room, is right up there with Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and Jacquelyn Michard's The Deep End of the Ocean. . . . Room is a big wow." --Heller McAlpin, San Francisco Chronicle

    "Room is so beautifully contrived that it never once seems contrived. But be warned: once you enter, you'll be Donoghue's willing prisoner right down to the last page." --Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

    "In a narrative at once delicate and vigorous--rich in psychological, sociological, and political meaning--Donoghue reveals how joy and terror often dwell side by side." --Ten Best Books of 2010, New York Times Book Review

  • "Fans of Donoghue's Room should be thrilled at the arrival of FROG MUSIC." (San Diego Magazine).

Product Details

Frog Music
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $17.00 US
  • Pages: 432
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316324670
  • On Sale Date: 02/24/2015
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