Madison House

Madison House

A Novel

Book - 2005
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Peter Donahue's debut novel Madison House chronicles turn-of-the-century Seattle's explosive transformation from frontier outpost to major metropolis. Maddie Ingram, owner of Madison House, and her quirky and endearing boarders find their lives inextricably linked when the city decides to re-grade Denny Hill and the fate of Madison House hangs in the balance. Clyde Hunssler, Maddie's albino handyman and furtive love interest; James Colter, a muckraking black journalist who owns and publishes the Seattle Sentry newspaper; and Chiridah Simpson, an aspiring stage actress forced into prostitution and morphine addiction while working in the city's corrupt vaudeville theater, all call Madison House home. Had E.L. Doctorow and Charles Dickens met on the streets of Seattle, they couldn't have created a better book.
Publisher: Portland, Or. : Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780976631101
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: 514 p. ; 23 cm


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Jun 17, 2017

I can't recommend this book to anyone except hardcore Seattle history buffs. The only reason I didn't quit halfway through was because of an interest in Seattle history, but that interest can be sated in a far more efficient manner through non-fiction. Mainly, the characters felt one-dimensional. Though the author imbued them with backstories and some inner motivation, I rarely felt moved by the progress of their lives. I did learn about the regrading of Denny hill and other aspects of Seattle at the turn of the century, but at a cumbersome (500+ pages) cost.

Dec 15, 2015

What a terrific book - well written. As a born & raised Seattle resident, I can relate to all the locations mentioned.

Oct 09, 2015

This was a fascinating piece of Seattle history I knew very little about. The details are exquisite.
The characters in the book became real people to me, and I felt sad to see them go at the end.
I highly recommend this.


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