Sunday, December 12, 2010

REVIEW: The Transformation by Catherine Chidgey

book cover of The Transformation by Catherine Chidgey

Title:  The Transformation
Author:  Catherine Chidgey
Publish Date:  June 2006
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction
Page Count:  320 pages

     Set in Tampa, Florida in 1898, the story centers around three individuals; Monsieur Lucien Goulet III, a master wig maker, Rafael Mendez, a Cuban immigrant who works in the local cigar factory, and Mrs. Marion Unger, a widow still in mourning four years after her husband's death.

     Monsieur Goulet, a Frenchman who immigrated to the Tampa area, prides himself in his craft, which is a dying art form at the turn of the twentieth century.  His card reads "Manufacturer of Ladies's Imperceptible Hair-Peices and Gentlemen's Invisible Coverings".  He understands his client's needs for him to act with the utmost secrecy.

     When Marion Unger comes into his shop to order a 'transformation' for herself, just something to wear to the opera and such, Goulet become enamored with her white-blonde locks and undertakes his greatest project yet, his masterpiece.  However, this requires much more hair than that which she has provided, and he soon employs the younger Rafael to help him.  

     Though I like historical fiction, I did find it somewhat difficult to get into this book.  After about the first half of the book, I found the story easier to read.  As you learn more and more about Monsieur Goulet, you see that he is not only a master of making transformation for his customers, but he is also a master of transforming himself.  I really enjoyed Chidgey's development of his character.

     Overall, I enjoyed this book, though as I said, it was slow at points.  An easy, quick read, nothing too special though.  I would probably give this book a 2.75 out of 5.

     Think you might want to give this book a try?  Read other reviews or order from Amazon!  The Transformation: A Novel

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